Scott Morrison bald-faced lies about Australia’s immigration intake

By Leith van Onselen

When it comes to Australia’s immigration program, you would be hard pressed to find a bigger liar than Treasurer Scott Morrison (see here, here, here, and here).

Yesterday, Morrison again spun a web of lies over Australia’s migrant program to Neil Mitchell on Radio 3AW:

Scott Morrison: “Only two out of 10 people increase in our population levels relates to the permanent immigration intake. Only 2 out of 10. So, the permanent immigration intake is not a big factor when it comes to population growth… Natural increase and temporary immigration accounts for 80% of population increase”.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Morrison’s claim that permanent migration is only a minor player in Australia’s population growth is patently false and a bald-faced lie.

The 2016 Census revealed that Australia’s population increased by a whopping 1.9 million people (+8.8%) in the five years to 2016, driven by a 1.3 million increase in new migrants:

To add insult to injury,¬†86% of migrants (1.11 million) settled in Australia’s cities, versus just¬†14% (187,000) that settled in Australia regional areas.

The permanent migrant intake is the primary driver of Australia’s population increase since, unlike temporary migrants who must ultimately leave, these migrants remain in the country and also have children, thus continually adding to Australia’s population base over time, as shown above.

The fact that most migrants enter Australia initially as temporaries before converting to permanent migrants later is irrelevant. If Australia slashed the permanent migrant intake it would have a three-pronged impact on reducing population growth:

  1. It would reduce the flow of temporary migrants, since many migrants enter Australia on temporary visas first hoping to transition to one of the many permanent non-humanitarian visas handed out each year (capped at 190,000). Reducing the number of permanent visas reduces the probability of gaining permanent residency and, therefore, the incentive to come to Australia in the first place.
  2. The temporary migrants that cannot transition to permanent residency because the permanent intake has been cut would have to leave Australia, thus lowering net overseas migration (NOM) and population growth.
  3. Fewer permanent residencies means less migrants having children, thereby reducing natural increase as well.

Indeed, the Productivity Commission has noted that “temporary migration is an established pathway to permanent migration” and that “around half of all permanent visa grants went to people already in Australia on a temporary visa”.

The fact of the matter is that Australia’s permanent migration program is the primary driver of both NOM and Australia’s overall population growth.

Therefore, if the permanent migrant intake was hypothetically reduced to zero, then temporary migrants would have to leave, inflows would roughly match outflows (over the longer-term), and NOM and by extension Australia’s population would barely increase:

Stop lying Scott.

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Leith van Onselen
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  1. Stop lying Scott.

    You might as well tell the sun not to rise. Dishonesty is in his DNA.

    • bzunicaMEMBER

      I don’t think there are many who believe this guy any more anyway. His DNA, when analysed, says “It’s all Labor’s fault”

      • BubbleyMEMBER

        I am sooo tired of hearing that repetitive blame game come out of his mouth.

        Its insulting that ScoMo actually thinks the punters believe it.

    • Maybe some small numbers from the ABS[1] will help Scott understand that 7 our of 10 of our population growth is immigration.

      – one birth every 1 minute and 43 seconds,
      – one death every 3 minutes and 16 seconds,
      – one person arriving to live in Australia every 1 minute and 1 seconds,
      – one Australian resident leaving Australia to live overseas every 1 minute and 49 seconds, leading to
      – an overall total population increase of one person every 1 minute and 24 seconds.

      The ABS population clock is at 24,929,999.
      We are due to hit 25 million people in 69 days.


      • Would it be too much to ask MB to bake a cake and hang some streamers for the live-sreaming of the event?

    • Morrison being honest would be really newsworthy. Won’t happen of course, but he does serve as an appalling reminder of lying, obfuscating low life we end up with as our so called representatives.

    • Some should introduce a bill to parliament to make it an offence to be Scott Morrison.

  2. wasabinatorMEMBER

    Those numbers are simply breathtaking. 1.9 million in just 5 years??

    The photo is a perfect depiction of this individual. Makes me want to punch my monitor every time I see it.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Shoulda watched Walker, Texas Ranger instead. Chuck was awesome. Landed a bloody Jumbo he did.

        Scummo who?

    • Yep. And the photo of Bernard Salt that Leith or David publish is maddening and highly punchable as well.

      It is also maddening to think “how many of those 1.3 million were given non-crap jobs?”

  3. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    “The photo is a perfect depiction of this individual. Makes me want to punch my monitor every time I see it.”

    I Agree,…I think MB should have those images, at the beginning of the thread and not just on the link title.
    The Bigger image would be easier to punch.

    • I truly despise him, I have to fight myself from condoning violence. He’s a smug, greedy little piece of shit.

      • Scummo is paid by the Australian public to work for us in our own best interests. I can guarantee you that in Scummo’s eyes, the australian people are here to work for him. I bet deep down he thinks he is aristocracy. Well Scotty, there have been a few monarchs that have their heads lopped off….

  4. “…We simply cannot drive economic growth by merely increasing our population and speculating on the housing market. These are not sustainable drivers of growth. Our labour productivity is far below the OECD average”.

    New Zealand Treasurer, Grant Robertson – today – ahead of next weeks Budget.
    So. Do we reckon that quote will make it on to the telly this evening?! Chances? – Buckleys…..

    • You’re kidding me? Wow NZ has got it right, they’re finally clamping down on this rubbish.

  5. That’s all good, but not sure if the Census data prove your point: they don’t discriminate between permanent and temporary residents.

      • Sure, no argument. Just saying that Scummo could even be “technically correct” when he says that the permanent resident intake is not the major contribution. But, as we know many of the “temporary residents” (e.g., foreign students) are here only for the path to the permanent residence.

        • He’s not even correct at a technical level. Temporaries don’t add to population increase over the medium to long-run as they have to leave. He’s only correct if you look at arrivals only and ignore departures.

          The only way these migrants can stay and add to the population base is if they transfer to permanent residency. Hence, the permanent migrant intake is the fundamental driver of population increase.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        How many temporaries that leave are not immediately replaced by another temporary?

        How many temporaries subsequently become permanents?

      • Great article, please keep calling out our “representatives'” lies.

        drsmithy has a point though. Suppose that none of the temporaries get PR, but we are getting more and more temporaries every year, with every temporary that leaves immediately replaced by another temporary? Each temporary place would have the same impact on the environment, infrastructure, etc. as a permanent resident. The students might well stop coming without the prospect of PR, but there are a lot of miserable places around the world where the opportunity of working in Australia for a few years would still look good.

  6. Just heard on the radio th WA budget due out will raise surcharge on foreign purchase of real-estate from 4 to 7%. Of course the idea of just not allowing it in the first place seems to not be an option.

  7. Most immigrants I know came in via temporary visas, including myself. The temp visas have very clearly defined pathways to permanency and are nothing more than a way to test the waters before permanency is granted. They are usually the easiest or only way into the country so Agents direct most budding migrants that way.

    The process of becoming permanent once you meet the requirements is so quick it could well be automated.

    The main three pathways are described here:

    As you can see they are not exactly restrictive.

    • The occupation list is a joke for PR and temporary visas. HR Advisors, Acupuncturists and Cooks are on the list. Fair enough if you can’t find a cook in remote Australia, but in urban centres? Perhaps there needs to be a special temporary visa for rural / remote areas? The list of occupations for urban areas should be a very short list indeed.

      There also needs to a significant reduction in the maximum age limit. Currently it’s 45. So you have middle aged people, becoming PR, and needing Medicare. The numbers aren’t stacking up. Reducing the maximum age by 10 years will help a lot.

      We also need to give preference to migrants who go into jobs we can’t fill, for jobs that actually create wealth for Australia through exports / technology / innovation will make money from the rest of the world.

  8. Guilty as charged. Me and the wife in on a temporary visa, now permanent. Working in a field where there is a glut of graduates every year and not many jobs. Bear in mind, when you come in on a 457, you believe there is a skills shortage in your area (you don’t know any better, and why otherwise would the govt run the program). Now we probably HAVE contributed to growth and the tax take – 2 people who work and claim nothing back – but multiply the hidden negatives by a million people. Young Aussie people are definitely the biggest losers. We’ve taken their jobs, contributed to increasing their cost of rent, and we’re likely some time soon to own a house they would otherwise have owned. They sit behind us in traffic, they’re behind us in hospital queues. If only they’d get p1ssed off and consolidate their votes to end this. They need to stop using Facebook as their sole means of expressing dissatisfaction.

    • How exactly would you suggest they consolidate their votes to end this??? all the big parties have essentially the same policies and the minors and independents will simply never have the numbers to control the government.

    • We are both lawyers, although I’ve transitioned into a commercial role. I mean, just how many law grads come through each year and can’t get a job. Tens of thousands. Skills shortage? Really? I agree it’s hard to consolidate using the current major parties. But the status quo has been broken in many European countries on certain issues – so it is possible with the right focus point.

      • YES its possible – the SAP, Sustainable Australia Party should really be consolidating the vote of young Australia – if only more of them would read a little instead of watching reality tv

    • Andrew, I wonder what was your first salary in Australia.

      Of course Aussies can work as electricians, cooks, accountants – they have always done those jobs. But in 2008, wage rises were rebranded as “skills shortages”. Heaven forbid! Having to pay skilled Aussies more than $16/hour!

      457 visa staff should be required to pay $30k/year income tax to the ATO – if the ATO fails to get $30k/year from every 457 visa worker, the boss should be jailed for tax theft.

      That would guarantee that 457 visa staff are not imported to work for $30k/year.

      • It was 85k. BUT the firm had to pay for me to requalify here over a couple of years, before I could actually work as a ‘lawyer’. It seemed like they would rather do that than take a day 1 qualified Aussie and train them for 2 years. Objectively, it seems pretty indefensible. I don’t think it happens as much these days.

    • Andrew, what does not happen as much these days?

      $85k is a lot more than $54k. We might actually be fine if the minimum wage on the 457 visa was $85k/year – if verified by the ATO. Maybe the immigration department has recently started data matching with the ATO to find out if the “skilled” 3rd world passport holder paid any income tax at all while telling the department “I am highly skilled sir, I work for more than $18k/year sir”.

  9. Traitor Morrison knows he can say what he likes because he knows the people are naive, ignorant and brainwashed
    ‘Hidden’ amid the massive permanent annual immigration program is the policy/ideology of multiculturalism a population replacement policy, an immigration policy imposed on the people by the elites

    Graeme Campbell 1992
    “There had been simmerings of discontent among the general public at the rate of increase in Asian immigration from the time of the Fraser Government. It was known by the “elites” that the general public was not happy with both the composition of the immigration intake and the policy of multiculturalism, but the general public was easy to handle as long as it had no focus and was not organised All the elites, including crucially the great bulk of the media were in agreement that these two issues should not be publicly discussed, or, if discussed, in such a way as to discredit those who questioned them.”

    • BubbleyMEMBER

      Australians are also disengaged from politics because of smug b*stards like Morrison.

      Sometimes I think thats the reason reality tv has hung around so long – people are desperate to watch anything but his gloating face.

  10. cyclingseasoned

    If you can’t win the argument

    (worse, If you’re not even prepared to have the argument to begin with)


    Never hurt a politician before

  11. Did Neil Mitchell pull him up on this garbage or just swallow it hook, line and sinker? If not, perhaps he needs to be sent these kinds of posts.

  12. surflessMEMBER

    Macrobusiness has openly called a minister of the crown a deciever, fibber, falsifier and perjuoror. Where are the lawyers against this deformation of his character?

    • BubbleyMEMBER

      MB has also shown the charts and graphs that prove he is lying.

      Is it defamation if its true? Although I like your version better “deformation of character”

  13. Even StevenMEMBER

    Leith – the lies told by ScoMo need to be discredited. Are you getting much traction with media on this sort of stuff?