Bill Shorten backs a ‘Big Australia’

By Leith van Onselen

Any hope that Australia’s major political parties would support a more sustainable immigration have been hosed over the past 24 hours. Hot on the heels of Prime Minister Scott Morrison launching his decentralisation smokescreen, Labor leader Bill Shorten has backed the current intake on ABC Radio and deployed his own infrastructure smokescreen:

FAINE: And congestion is directly tied to immigration which was one of the drivers for the Liberal Party’s unrest last week.

SHORTEN: Well first of all, I understand the frustration of Australians about crowded infrastructure, and our immigration should be what’s in the national interest but part of that debate has to be fixing up our infrastructure.

But going back to where we started with the proposal from Victorian Labor about a railway…

FAINE: But this is about people’s concerns as cities become increasingly congested, people’s response is not to blame politicians for the failure to deal with infrastructure but instead to turn around and say let’s cut immigration. Does Bill Shorten want to cut immigration?

SHORTEN: Listen, our immigration is one issue but let’s talk about the failure of politics. The reason why I went back in detail to the history of an outer ring railway in Melbourne…

FAINE: So on immigration, simple yes or no answer, do you want to change the way we do immigration? Do you want to reduce the number of people who get permission to move to Australia?

SHORTEN: It’s not a simple yes or no issue. If we can take people in based upon our infrastructure, based upon the moving to the regions that’s a plus.

FAINE: So you agree with Alan Tudge, the newly sworn-in Minister, who says let’s try and get migrants to go to the regions rather than Sydney and Melbourne.

SHORTEN: Yeah I think that there is – and it’s not just the regions. You know, South Australia, there are plenty of places who would like to take some migrants. Immigration has been good for Australia but there’s no point in bringing in masses and masses of people if our infrastructure isn’t keeping pace. So I guess what I’m saying is you can’t just look at one part of it. We’re an immigrant nation and immigration has been good.

Jon your family, my family, pretty much anyone other than a first Australian came from somewhere else. But having said that we’ve got to make sure that we’re not you know just being ignorant of what happens if we’re overcrowding our cities so that’s why you’ve got to deal with the frustration people have on infrastructure.

Who is representing the Australian people? The past five opinion polls on the issue have clearly shown that Australian voters want immigration to be reduced:

  • Australian Population Research Institute: 54% want lower immigration;
  • Newspoll: 56% want lower immigration;
  • Essential: 54% believe Australia’s population is growing too fast and 64% believe immigration is too high;
  • Lowy: 54% of people think the total number of migrants coming to Australia each year is too high; and
  • Newspoll: 74% of voters support the Turnbull government’s cut of more than 10% to the annual permanent migrant intake to 163,000 last financial year.

Labor’s inequality agenda would be greatly strengthened by also halving the permanent migrant intake – i.e. returning it back to something more in line with the historical average.

Income inequality and home ownership would be improved as there would be less upward pressure on house prices, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, and less economic rents flowing to the owners of capital (who benefit the most from mass immigration while ordinary residents bear the costs).

Wages growth would also improve, other things equal, as there is less competition for jobs and workers’ bargaining power is increased, which would also help to reduce inequality.

There would be less youth unemployment, as employers are incentivised to hire and train young workers and graduates rather than taking the easy route of importing a migrant.

Australia’s economic growth and job creation would also become more broad-based and less concentrated in inner Sydney and Melbourne. Lower population growth would take pressure off interest rates and the currency. Thus, the Australian dollar would fall more quickly than otherwise helping to cushion the post mining-boom adjustment as tradable sectors become more competitive more quickly. This would spread benefits much more widely than just the “citizenship export” sectors of education, as well as simply piling more unproductive consumers into Sydney and Melbourne (blowing the current account deficit and increasing debt).

Lower population growth would also lift productivity and income by decongesting cities and, over the long-run, shares the depleting Australia’s fixed national endowment of resources among fewer people, also ensuring higher income per capita.

Labor needs to ask itself: how is maintaining a mass immigration program – which is projected to flood Sydney and Melbourne with 87,000 and 97,000 people a year respectively for decades to come – compatible with a fairer, more sustainable and socially cohesive Australia?

Such turbo-charged immigration necessarily will make housing affordability worse, dilute workers’ bargaining power, enrich the capital owners and wreck overall livability (e.g. via worsening congestion).

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Leith van Onselen
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Comments

    • No progress on migration in Australia for three more years. Any hope there died wirh Dutton’s failed leadership bid.

      A million more arrivals before the 2021 election.

      Time to move to another country.

      • What if Dutton and his supporters broke away now, form a new party.
        May as well, a lot of them may not get pre selection anyway.
        They will have time to show their wares and policies before the next election.

      • Don’t worry, according to Ermo the grass roots are just moments away from taking the power back in the Labor party….LOL!

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Hey Gav
        Did you see my reply to The red wiggle,…nothing offensive in that reply other than Saying Minor party voting is an impotent form of protest and change must be fort for, Democraticly, within the major parties, through a dramaticly expanded membership base within the parties that rule.

        I feel my comment was removed by MB, ONLY because I put up a good argument against Minor party D o n k y voting.

    • Yep. More giant white elephant infrastructure projects for his union and industry super mates. Of course they won’t achieve anything, other than handing over tax farming rights. But hey the rusted on turkeys will still vote for him.

      It’s a brave man that thinks the kitchen sink isn’t on its way to save housing lol.

      Voters is stupid.

      • I think it’s going to be more and more independents and fringe parties in the Senate.
        Seems very hard to get anyone other then LNP and Lab in the House of Reps.

    • Good thing PR and 457s can’t vote… Oh… wait – they have a proxy vote through the companies they work for and which also write the government policy via Laberal campaign donations…

      sh*t!

    • Why so she can pretend to do something about immigration while giving her vote away to the LNP all day long?

      • It doesn’t matter how ineffective she is due to lack of numbers in the senate because it sends a message to the incumbants losing the votes.

      • Given the churn of Pms for the last few years, I’m pretty sure the message has already gotten through, but they aren’t changing their ways and their is nothing you can do about it so there.

    • Rashist losers. I for one call for moar massage-sector infrastructure spend. There simply aren’t enough and they’re all congested with property investor winners!

      • So, what you’re saying is that Reusa is a kind of a weiner party goer, hm? The more congested/turgid – the better

      • reusachtigeMEMBER

        Recently I have had to wait for a girl to become “available” on several occasions. They are very busy. I do get concerned that in their rush to massage their next customer they haven’t washed their hands properly. And then you end up with a rough chinamen lady as they don’t get as pre-booked as the lovely Thai girls. Talk about letdown after an anticipating wait! So it’s a booming business that definitely needs more supply!

    • Yes yes yes. You have not been wrong yet. Is the Relations Party putting forward a senate option?

  1. Anti-immigration sentiment in Canada is at a 43 year high:

    http://angusreid.org/canadian-immigration-trend-data/

    https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/corbella-confidence-in-trudeaus-handling-of-immigration-is-gone

    The data only goes back to 1975, so maybe it is at a 70 year high.

    The propaganda peddled by PassingInterest is amazing:

    unprecedented access to:

    education, healthcare, social support,

    https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/08/mark-latham-malcolm-turnbull-got-boot/#comment-3174510

    Unprecedented ambulance ramping more like it! Unprecedented lack of schools in Coburg too.

  2. Elective government has failed.

    It worked for small communities where the “representatives” shared the experiences of those who elected them.

    In large stratified societies this linkage breaks down. Politicians have no idea how “ordinary” people live, and they probably don’t care.

    In large stratified societies the competition for elective office leads to adverse selection of aggressively narcissistic, machiavellian, megalomaniacal individuals. Anyone who doubts that need only look at Australian politics in the last week.

    There may be well-meaning backbenchers. And the occasional independent may be elected, but except in rare circumstances of a balance-of-power is ineffectual.

    Any minor party which gets a whiff of actual power undergoes its own “Night of the Long Knives”, ousting the original idealists and replacing them with party machine men.

    If the voting system gives too much power to independents it is soon changed . . . as the Coalition and the Greens did with the Senate.

    Does anyone seriously doubt that the more senior politicians are concerned either with helping their Mates or ensuring they get “invited to the party” when they retire from office?

    Things will only get worse unless the system of government is re-designed to account for modern conditions.

    And at the risk of being boringly repetitive, that must mean some form of genuine Democracy in which the People have a direct say.

    • robert2013MEMBER

      …and as I keep saying the only people offering such a change in Australia are the flux party: see voteflux.org

    • If the voting system gives too much power to independents it is soon changed . . . as the Coalition and the Greens did with the Senate.

      Should the objective not be to more accurately represent the will of the voters ? Is that not what OPV does ?

      • Would that be their “will” with or without conditions of Prisoners’ Dilemma??

        Under conditions of Prisoners’ Dilemma, the Prisoners’ “will” is to escape punishment. But that doesn’t stop them behaving – rationally behaving! – in ways which maximise their punishment.

        The same problems apply to voting systems where there is no way of negotiating and enforcing collective action on the part of the voters.

        It is the same rationale for compulsory attendance at the polling booth.

        It may be the “will” of each voter in the Senate election that each and every voter fill in all the boxes above the line. But each voter – confronted with a metre long ballot paper – will rationally conclude:

        a) if I fill in all these boxes and insufficient other voters do, then my own additional votes will be wasted anyway (except in the incredibly rare case that the final quota swings on that vote), so my optimal strategy is not to bother;

        b) if sufficient other voters fill in all the boxes, then my own additional votes will be negligible and unnecessary (again, except in the incredibly rare case that the final quota swings on that vote), so my optimal strategy is still not to bother; and

        c) given that other voters will have reasoned (a) and (b) – and therefore not filled in the extra boxes – my dominant strategy is not to do so,

        even though it is my “will” that all like-minded voters (including myself) DO fill in all the boxes!

      • Should the voting system aim to represent the outcome the people casting votes want, or should it aim to put more independent parties in power ?

      • Yes, I’ve read those before. It doesn’t really answer my question (or, at least, not in a way I understand).

        Your complaint is that the change to OPV into the Senate had the objective of changing the voting system to prevent independent parties gaining power, but shouldn’t the objective of the voting system be to more accurately represent the outcome that voters are trying to achieve, and doesn’t OPV do that (compared to FPV) ?

        You seem to have a real problem with the OPV changes, and I don’t understand why. To me they represent a change to a system that produces an outcome more aligned to voters intention, a change I would have expected you to be in favour of.

        Or is it more a matter that any change not completely replacing the existing system with a more directly democratic one is counter-productive ?

      • A truly optional preferential voting system for the Senate would give voters the options of:

        a) voting “1” above the line and having their preferences allocated by the party of their choice (and what’s wrong with that?);

        b) voting above the line for as many parties as desired (up to all the parties) and then having unused preferences allocated by the first party of choice; or

        c) voting below the line.

        For voters who actively object to assigning preferences to certain parties, Australians had long had the “option” of voting “1,2,3,4,5,6,7,7,7,7,7 etc” below the line. The use of identical numbers had been a legal vote and had achieved the objective of not assigning preferences beyond the set of lower non-identical numbers.

        I other words, the system cynically agreed by the Greens and the Coalition spectacularly managed to:

        remove voters’ options to vote in a way which would allow the automatic allocation of their preferences while avoiding the Prisoners’ Dilemma (collective action) problem of having to place different numbers in every square without making an error;

        • while failing to provide an option that wasn’t available before.

        And it did so for the most base reason: to tweak the electoral system (using the well-known collective action problem) so that one minority group might get greater power at the expense of the majority.

        It is extraordinary how power-hungry factions manage to dress up their quest for power in a cloak of virtue.

        That is not to say that Australians might not actually want the cynical system agreed by the Greens and the Coalition. Far be it for me to tell other people what sort of system of government they must have.

        But if that is the case, the way to find out is to ask them using a non-privileging aggregation of their preferences. And as shown in the links that must take the form of an indefinite-pass initiative-and-referendum system with sufficient compulsion to prevent a voting Prisoners’ Dilemma.

  3. Lets hope for an interdependent candidate to win the seat of Wentworth. The major and minor parties are proven to be a waste of a vote.

    • Never gonna happen. Aussies are like their major export, sheep – they vote for one of the two major parties.

  4. bill is the pied piper of nongs

    representative democracy has failed homies, direct democracy when

  5. Immigration is going to continue to be the big issue, and neither major party is in synch with the electorate.

    They continue to simplify it as ‘racist White Small Australia” versus a ‘non racist Rainbow Big Australia’ cliche.
    And both Shorten & Morrison make the fatal mistake that this is ‘White Australians conservatives voters wanting a reduction v the Australian centre & left plus the new migrants voters wanting a ‘bigger rainbow Australia’.

    Bob Birrell wrote a paper & analysis of this showing how the media elite & politicians defy public opinion on migration, to twist & distort it into a racial or old Australians v new migrants agenda .
    The truth according to the analysis is most new migrant PR / Citizens who vote also want action and intake reduction. The link is at the bottom.

    So I would suggest something quite obvious and fundamental in countering the out of touch political parties and elitist media.

    That Australian community opinions including the new legal migrants – 1.9 million PR in the last decade, with some 800,000 or so now as citizens who can vote – have a very different view.

    I would also suggest that Australians of all races & cultures including many new PR/Citizen migrants who vote – want something very specific & easy to achieve in political representation.

    ➡️ An immediate massive reduction in Temporary & Tourist/Visitor migrant numbers, as well as a reductyion with improved quality & assimilation in the PR intake.

    For quite obvious reasons.
    Pragmatic voter self interest.

    We clearly have broken border controls, a porous & easily exploited Visa system & virtually no tracking, controls or enforcement of what is now over 2.7 million third world unskilled migrant guestworkers now onshore.

    For the 1.9 million new migrant PR / Citizenship grants, this migrant guestworker that has an acute impact to them in specifically in jobs, wages, housing, education & living standards.
    The very reason they came to Australia in opportunity & better living is being denied to them because of our broken border controls & mass scale visa racketeering.

    We have allowed in over 1.9 million migrant PR / Citizen grants in the last decade, with an estimated 800,000 now adult & Citizens, who vote / holding the balance of power in the major city electorates.
    This intake was mostly unskilled (70% plus), mostly of Third world origin and it is highly concentrated (86%) in Sydney or Melbourne. They have less wealth, earn less, are over represented in unemployment & welfare and are mostly renters. They contribute less tax, consume more welfare & health care, they age and they are burden – in fact a time bomb of costs, not a benefit in inter generational & future GDP & economic impacts.
    We are stuck with that, they are PR/Citizens now and the only future action is to reduce the PR intake and improve the quality.

    The new migrant PR & Citizens aren’t living the Australian dream at all.
    Because like Australians already here, these new PR and citizens are competing with a tsunami of additional third world migrant guestworkers taking their jobs, further lowering their wages, stealing their housing, denying them affordable education, congesting their transport & services as well.

    Ask any new migrant PR or Citizen.
    They are mostly third world, mostly unskilled, they are at the bottom of the socioeconomic pile in jobs, income & housing.
    They will say there is ‘way too many migrants’ being allowed in and Australia needs to reduce the intake – particularly in TR & TVWI.

    And they are correct.
    We now have 2.2 million Temporary Residents.
    Plus 440,000 (TVWI) Tourist/Visitors Working Illegally.
    Plus 60,000 or more Overstayers onshore.
    2.7 million migrant Guestworkers, mostly of third world origin, most unskilled, and most working illegally.
    142% equivalent of the PR intake.

    Over 1 in 10 people in Australia.
    1 in 4 people in Sydney is a TR or TVWI (1.3 million)
    1 in 5 people in Melbourne a TR or TVWI (1.0 million).
    And 0.4 million elsewhere, Brisbane or other centres.

    Up to 1.5 million of these migrant guestworker TR & TVWI are on blatant visa pretexts only here to work illegally – decimating employment, wages, housing, ‘education’ as a visa alibi, congestion.
    For all Australians including and especially the new migrant PR/Citizens.

    When the debate starts to shift from trite race card or the facile ‘small white Australia’ v ‘big brown Australia’ to the actual economic & social discussion, then we have made progress.

    And the answer is simple & fast.
    Shut down the Temporary & TVWI rackets.

    Exit over 1.5 million TR & TVWI who should not have been allowed in.

    🔹Remove work rights for all of the 624,000 foreign students. Exit 580,000 doing nonsense low level non internationally recognised courses they can do in their home country or online for free. 75% are work illegally. Fake ID, cash in hand. It’s out of control.

    🔹Return 230,000 non NZ born SCV back to NZ. Stop the 95% one way flow using NZ as the back door. Block the other 195,000 currently queued up in NZ. We would not let these fake doc/unskilled Chinese & Indians etc in via the front door, so why are they allowed into Australia via the NZ backdoor with full work rights ? Remove reciprocal work rights for SCV both countries for non Australian or non NZ born.

    🔹Remove 440,000 Tourist Visitors Working Illegallg in Visa breach. Crackdown on the foreign labor gangs & agent procurers running these large scale rackets.

    🔹Shut down & exit most of the 170,000 bridging visa false claims. 30 period to appeal, yes or else exit.

    🔹Shut down & exit at least 140,000 of the so called skilled visa rackets. With 1.3 million unemployed including many migrant PR and 1.1 million seeking work, there is no case for this visa category.

    🔹Shut down & exit 50,000 or more exploiting the working holiday in visa churn, extension & other rackets.

    🔹Remove 40,000 of the perennial 60,000 Overstayers.

    ➡️That’s 1.5 million third world unskilled non tax paying migrant guestworkers who should never have been allowed in.
    Simple border control & enforcement and some ministerial rulings.
    A vote winner.
    For Australians including the new migrant PR, many now citizens of which some 800,000 can vote.

    Restoring some 1.3 million jobs for Australians including our new PR/Citizens.
    Restoring at least 350,000 dwelling in our cities back to Australians including new PR/Citizens occupancy.
    10 years of modest affordable housing restored.
    Restoring education & services for all.
    Removing congestion.
    Shutting down the $131 billion migrant guestworker onshore economy of which some $70 billion is a foreign run underground blackmarket cash Fake ID illegally working sub economy.
    Reducing foreign run crime & vice.
    Increasing GDP per capita, increasing productivity and increasing taxation per capita.
    Stripping tens of billions in reduced tax / outlays to shut down misguided transport & infrastructure projects.
    Reduce the PR intake to higher quality assimilating candidates.
    That’s what they would vote for.
    -/-
    Professor Bob Birrell / TAPRI did an analysis of this.

    How the ‘racist & multiculturalism card’ is used to suppress any migrant intake debate, despite the majority of Australians wanting it reduced.

    And particularly how the political representation in both major parties is completely out of touch with what Australian voters, including the new migrant PR/Citizens want.
    Recommended reading.

    http://tapri.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Immigration-public-opinion-2018.pdf

    • PassingInterest

      The majority of Australians, when able to provide anonymous feedback to pollsters, will of course grumble about the structural issues resulting from a poorly managed increase in population. It is only the fringes of the ignorant minority (large as that may be) that immigration is more of a cultural issue.

      But when push comes to shove, there is no way the majority of Australians will ever vote for policy changes that impact their own livelihoods. Nor will they countenance the changes necessary to counteract the negative economic impact of reducing immigration.

      As much as we complain, most people in this country will accept the trade off of higher immigration as the cost of maintaining economic activity. There is no groundswell among the ranks of Labor and Liberal parties for good reason.

      If you strongly disagree, then go join your local Labor or Liberal Party branch, agitate, and see how you go ! Peter Dutton and his supporters (cognisant of who funds the Liberal Party) would never have implemented long-term structural changes to immigration that would impact the bottom line. And if you don’t think there will be an impact from reducing immigration, you’re kidding yourself.

      If you think the solution is One Nation, you aren’t really thinking at all.

      Voters may be ignorant and bellicose at times, but they’re smart enough to understand the trade-offs and where their self-interest lies.

      • I think PI’s point is that the “last five opinion polls” will do the quickest U-turn you’ve ever seen when people figure out which side of their bread is buttered. Hard to argue…

      • You are being conditioned to believe that high immigration has an ‘economic benefit’.

        It could – if it was a high wealth high skill assimilating migrant intake with jobs & housing capacity.
        But we have the exact opposite.

        We have 1.9 million PR last decade that are mostly poor unskilled and no jobs or housing capacity prepared for that. On any statistics they are at the bottom layers of our society in economic & standards of living.
        http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/6250.0

        We then have on top of this another 2.7 million mostly third world poor & unskilled on VIsa pretexts who are migrant guestworkers in any or every sense of the world – contending with this bottom layer of PR migrants.

        What do you think the view of the PR migrants is ?
        Of which some 800,000 as citizens now / vote.
        They all want the TR & TVWI racket shut down also.

        It might raise overall GDP & activity.
        If we imported 2.7 million bangladeshi rurals at $5 an hour it would do the same.

        But in Australia the 2.7 million migrant guestworkers it has resulted in
        GDP per capita falling,
        wages falling in real terms,
        sharp increases in real unemployment,
        lower productivity,
        cost of living increases,
        congestion,
        mass housing unaffordabilty,
        homelessness,
        destroyed education
        and tax per capita falling.
        And an inter generational burden in mass importation of low skill ‘negative contributors’ in income tax and social cost outlays.

        As example:
        International education is a $28 billion export…
        How ?
        The 624,000 foreign students almost all third world unskilled and poor in loan debt to a foreign agent procurer come in with less than $1.5 billion of actually checked funds. 580,000 of the 624,000 are doing nonsense courses that don’t exist in most OECD countries with no international recognition. Available for free or online in their home country.
        They pay $7.8 billion in fees (Deloitte).
        FROM MONEY EARNED HERE.
        75% then work illegally taking out some 460,000 FTE Jobs mostly from new migrant legal PR or Australian youth or mature age. The entire international student employs less than 100,000 jobs, many being TR as well so a net job loss impact of 360,000 jobs.’
        360,000 unemployed Australians including new migrant PR / citizens alone costs us $6.5 billion, out of taxpayer money not paid by the foreign students working illegally
        They occupy some 150,000 modest ex Australian established dwellings – long stay in our two major cities. 6 years of affordable housing supply costing some $55 billion in replacement cost.
        We have 350,000 Australians including new migrant PR & Citizens seeking housing & 116,000 permant homeless also costing us $4.5 billion.
        We have congestion, overload and crush load.
        Our education system has fallen 10 places globally and costs have skyrocketed as the education sector prostituted itself to be a migrant guestworker alibi.
        And the progression of foreign students into a high income professional vocation in their home country or here if they got a PR… ? 3.8%.
        Straight into Centrelink & the dole queue.
        Exposing the farce of it all.
        They form a $31 billion blackmarket economy, cash Fake ID, sending back over $8 billion back in remittances. FROM MONEY EARNED HERE.
        ➡️ All that money was earned onshore.
        Where exactly is the ‘EXPORT’
        If you add up what comes in, what is earned here, what is lost in tax / cash / illegal work, what is then paid out in the associated damage and impact to Australians including the new PR / Citizens, then it is at least $19 billion or more NEGATIVE.

        It might increase GDP activity but it’s net GDP negative to every Australian including the new migrant PR citizens of some NEGATIVE $19 billion.
        The whole foreign student racket needs to be stripped back to OECD standards, about 35,000 genuine post grad unversity only, fully funded, all checked and no work rights. Like most other countries incl China btw. .
        And that’s just one example of one visa group.

        I’m not a ON supporter btw.
        Once again they like the other parties are not centred on the real issue like the major parties.
        Australians and especially the new migrant PR/Citizens who want the flood of unskilled third world TR & TVWI stopped & reversed.

        It’s facile to polarise this as a ‘white conservative small Australia’ versus ‘centre left & Migrant citizens now here big Australia’.

        Both parties need to shift to community views especially the new legal migrant PR/Citizens that it’s the 2.7 million TR & TVWI migrant guestworkers that is causing the national crisis.

        As the Birrell report I provided earlier clearly outlines.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        “Voters may be ignorant and bellicose at times, but they’re smart enough to understand the trade-offs and where their self-interest lies”

        Did you mean Smart enough or indoctrinated enough?

      • People have woken to the fact that their kids are getting reamed by mass immigration. Look at the UK, pulled out of brexit and guess what’s happening? Wage rises and jobs for their kids.✊
        Do you even live or work in the city PI? Cause if you do you obviously don’t talk to many people because EVERYONE HAS HAD ENOUGH! Even Asian and Indian folk. Plebiscite is the only way. 👍
        Bring the Power Back ✊

      • Plebiscite is the only way. 👍
        Bring the Power Back

        LOL. From the guy opposed to democracy in principle.

    • PassingInterest

      I understand what you’re saying Leith, but when you play this out in practical terms …

      – lower immigration will not be part of either major Parties (nor the Greens’) policy platform, so they can’t have their say on immigration that way
      – a plebiscite (as highly unlikely as that is), would never be framed in a way that allowed voters to weigh in on absolute levels of population (and by implication, immigration)
      – in the highly unlikely case there was a plebiscite, the backers of higher immigration will strongly run their campaign on an “economic impact” basis, i.e. a vote for lower immigration is a vote for higher unemployment, lower house prices, etc .. in addition to the whole vibrancy/cultural mix thingy

      On that basis, I truly believe most voters will put their own self-interest first and foremost. That is the trade-off they are willing to make to keep things ticking along in this country. Nobody, not anybody in this country, has the appetite for the real structural changes we should have made at the very least 20 years ago. Not Dutton, Not Bernadi, Not Hanson.

      Australians – the sensible centre of this country that all politicians must capture – accept higher immigration, there’s just no evidence in practical terms (in the form of high political participation and agitation) that they don’t. The polling is a pretty superficial way to measure this.

      • PassingInterest

        No, I hope they are given a say (via a plebiscite, not a poll), but should that opportunity ever come, I think they will still support higher population (on the proviso that it is “better managed”)

        • I’m pretty certain that if they were presented with a choice of 30 million or 40 million people mid-century, the overwhelming majority would support 30 million.

          I can count on two hands the citizens I have met face-to-face that support a ‘Big Australia’ of 40-plus million.

      • Unfortunately despite his complete disconnect with the populace with regard to his obviously self interested spruiking, he is almost certainly correct that the populace isn’t gonna be given the choice.

      • Righto, so because Aussies won’t be given a say, they somehow support mass immigration. You’ve jumped the shark with that logic.

        Probably best not to attack someone else’s logic with a straw man.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        “Australians – the sensible centre of this country that all politicians must capture – accept higher immigration, there’s just no evidence in practical terms (in the form of high political participation and agitation) that they don’t. The polling is a pretty superficial way to measure this”

        Then sopporters of greater democracy have nothing to fear from a Gay marriage style ballot or even Referendum then?
        Good.
        I think your self interest thing with its, higher immigration = Higher house prices mentality has been offset in the minds of many whos standard of living is clearly being affected in a real lived experience way.
        This was not noticed by many at first but is now undeniable to anyone even those trying not to notice because their house prices are going up.

    • Most recently arrived migrants only want a reduction in migration numbers AFTER they have secured residency for themselves and their extended families.

      • But it is true. My Chinese friend (arrived decades ago) has definitely whispered to me, what is going on??

  6. Many of our cities were never designed to take the amount of people they want to cram in, the cost and time to fix these problems are way beyond what the incompetent lets outsource everything governments are capable of. People have zero confidence we can meet the infrastructure needs.

    That’s why the overwhelming majority agree we need to cut immigration intake to more sustainable levels.

    Building dog boxes in the sky is not the solution, even though we seem pretty good at doing that right now.

  7. More bait and switch policies by our Lib/Lab/green govnuts by way of:

    1. expansion of infrastructure programs when the issue is population replacement.
    2. funding for which will be by way of the environmentally clean master plan of asset recycling, and where necessary borrowing from wherever possible.
    3. The selling off of Oz assets to overseas interests is to continue, and if needed accelerated.

    However, just funding more infrastructure will only be part of the ongoing costs – there are also massive social welfare, health, and education costs associated with the population replacement program.

    I do not know why EP keeps talking about getting the ALP to change its policies on immigration. That will never happen now given branch stacking and how the pollies have been educated and their expectations to earn a lot more in their post Parliament life, like Keating, Hawke and Robb etc have done.

    Its best to join other parties and work together to bring in new policies. Always remember – the light at the end of the tunnel for us is an oncoming train, unless we vote for Pauline and like minded people.

    By the time we get our major recession/depression in 10-15 years time that may have the ability to halt the population replacement program (at least for some years) the country will be too far gone to have any hope of being anything other than a Balkanised Argentina with most major assets owned by overseas masters and the need to service an ever expanding external debt..

    • I am surprised that Ermington keeps saying “join the ALP”.

      Look at Nigel Farage and Imran Khan. Did they join an existing political party? No. They created brand new ones in the 1990s. Today, Imran Khan is Prime Minister and Nigel got Brexit!

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        I have created a political party this morning when realised the futility of expecting any action from our existing parties.
        The Climate Catastrophe Party, brought to you by the cowardice and inaction of our fossil fuel captured major parties.
        I guarantee that in 20years no one will want to come to Australia, in fact many already here will leave, house price swill fall dramatically.
        https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/148cb0_a0d7c18a1bf64e698a9c8c8f18a42889.pdf

        What more can ask for?

  8. Bill ‘Robot’ Shorten is true to his programming. And when the LNP begins the race for cuts to immigration, poor old Robot Bill will be re-visited by the ghost of Big Australia past as he tries hard not to rock the boat in ever more stormy seas.

    Only ‘Sustainable Australia’ provide an option for the senate for those who want sensible policy without the ‘moron factor’. They need a vastly greater profile but could take at least half the seats from The Greens and then some. They will need some high profile candidates. Can Dick Smith be press ganged into it?

  9. Last week Anthony Albanese said the solution was a HSR link between Sydney and Canberra.

    More people, more labouring jobs, more CFMMEU membership, more labor donations. F*ck the locals.

    • The Chinese Premier was in Oz some time ago wanting in on a HSR between Melbourne and Sydney (via Canberra, I suppose). I presume the deal would be that they would at least part own it for 100 years, provide most of the finance, rolling stock, engineering services and probably bring in the labour to build it.

      Albo would have been approached by his Chinese mates about this project, and I expect it to be one of the key projects that will get the go ahead. The cost/benefit of the project will be massaged into shape by the right people to give it a positive spin and it will be classified as a modern day nation building exercise. This BS has happened in Canberra which is getting an expensive light rail network for a small dispersed population thanks its Lab/Green govt – with the consequence that rates are going up by 12% pa..

  10. Re Shorten on migrant intake & decentralisation.
    He LIES about jobs in the regional & rural areas.

    We now have 1.3 million Australian unemployed & 1.1 million seeking work. Our unemployment rate has dramatically increased, particularly in youth, mature age and the PR new migrants. Many ‘skilled’ Australians including the new PR are unemployed.

    https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/7683-roy-morgan-australian-unemployment-july-2018-201808100237

    No jobs in those Regional & Rural areas
    South Australia 15.5% Youth unemployment.
    SA has a net outflow of people because their industry shut down and there are no jobs for the unemployed locals, many skilled.

    See the interactive map of unemployment hotspots across Australia and the State State in the article.

    https://www.smh.com.au/interactive/2016/great-student-swindle/
    And why these big red circle hotspots of Australian unemployed across our regional & rural areas ?

    That’s where the foreign student or sponsor workers of tourist visitor illegal workers all are – working illegally, fake ID, cash in hand. Read their interviews.
    $8 a hour.
    Foreign procurers & foreign run labour syndicates. Sponsored Indians & Asians paying for those jobs overseas, being flown in, working illegally.
    Got a loan debt in China or India or Malaysia and paid an agent procurer to fly them in on a visa pretext, replete with Fake ID, paid cash in hand, repay the lish debt & send back remittances.
    NOT Exploited, but all willing & fully aware participants.
    Third world unskilled recruited from the slums of rural areas who paid to come here & work illegally.
    Willing participants.

    Every hot spot with a ‘foreign student campus’ or ‘tourist & visitor migrant guestworker labor trafficking gangs’.

    What’s Bill Shorten going to do about that ?
    Nothing except continue to increase the migrant guestworker black economy.

  11. Shorten couldnt give a straight answer because he is representing sectional interests. If what the sectional interests wants happily coincides with what the public want, his way forward is much easier. His evasiveness on the subject was obvious but he did actually also say mass immigration was not in Australias interest if the infrastructure could not keep up. Its about time Shorten received a question on this issue, it wont be his last

  12. How long I wonder do they think they can keep doing this until the cities become unworkable and unlivable?

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      It’s amazing what people can be made to get used to if it’s done gradually and it’s all made to seem inevitable. That’s what they’re counting on. So far it’s worked. So far….

    • Immigrants vote for more immigration. Democracy is intentionally being perverted.

      If you want to know how bad it can get then look at the US. During the 2016 US Election, Dems were toying with the idea of open borders knowing full well it would be the death of the Republican party. Some Dem states already considering allowing non-residents to vote.

      • Freddy. I’m not so sure of that’s true.
        In the US it was illegals & Muslims as a touchpoint.
        And Trump secured record swings in blacks & hispanics voting for reductions etc.
        In Australia the issue is different.
        It’s record levels of third world unskilled PR / Citizen grants (1.9 million) in the last decade, and then on top another 2.7 million migrant TR & TVWI (142% the PR) also concentrated into our 2 main cities.
        The debate here is being polarised by the media into a ‘white conservatives small Australia’ v centre/left & new legal migrant PR/Citizen big rainbow Australia’.

        But that ignores the fact that the centre & legal migrant PR/Citizens are the most impacted by the 2.7 million TR/TVWI migrant guestworker intake.

        Over 30% of Australian voters are foreign born.
        The Birrell analysis (link at bottom) showed the majority or more than 50% of Australians wanted a reduction in migrant intake.

        His segmentation is by job types but it clearly shows the lower income jobs which most of the foreign born occupy are an even higher majority.

        Anecdotally there is a lot of media from migrant groups and communities supporting a migrant intake reduction.

        And realistically & pragmatically, it is the new migrant PR / Citizens who are poor, unskilled, without affordable housing, high unemployment etc who are by far the most impacted in the 2.7 million TR & TVWI migrant guestworkers now onshore.

        And you can see in Birrell’s report it is a very small cohort of business & left wing open borders media or artistic elitists who act as the loud piece for big Australia and mass migrant intake.

        The political parties don’t represent Australian society.
        That’s clearly outlined in the report in how out of touch they are with their electorates.

        Instead they are synced to a small group of media and hard core open borders propagandists.

        So they are trying to shape or deflect the concern by playing the ‘race card’, rather than having the economic & social debate.

        Both parties make the flawed assumption that the 30% of foreign born Australians supporting the continued rates of intake.

        But that doesn’t make sense for the foreign born Australians citizens who are most impacted.
        Maybe it needs to be explained to them so they fully understand if they want the Australia they were lucky to get into in living standards & opportunity- then they need to act to protect & preserve that.

        The answer is to call out the race card blocking and force it into a proper economic & social debate and then put the facts on the table, especially the 2.7 million TR/TVWI migrant guestworker overshoot.

        Because that’ the key root cause & easily resolved issue underlying all this.

        Apply proper border controls & TR, Tourist & Visitor VIsa enforcement and exit 1.5 million migrant guestworkers that should never have been allowed in.
        They don’t vote. Good all round..

        And then adjust the new PR settings to a reduced intake and higher quality assimilating intake.

        Birrell’s analysis of sentiment.

        http://tapri.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Immigration-public-opinion-2018.pdf

      • Not all immigrants vote for open borders. For example, I’m a recent immigrant from the first world, from a country without inflated housing prices, employed in the tech industry that is affected by lower-priced labor from third world countries. I do not yet own a home. It’s in my interests for the immigration tap to be slowed to a trickle.

        However, I can see that the following might want a generous migrant intake:
        * Immigrants with plenty of cash to park in properties rented to new permanent and temp migrants.
        * Immigrants from third world countries for whom 12 to a 3BR fibro shack in Western Sydney is a step up from a shanty in their home country.
        * Immigrants who haven’t yet gotten the 18 family members who want to come over, into the country yet.
        * Temp workers and students who invested $$ in coming to Australia in hopes of PR, and who don’t want to see those hopes any more constrained than they have already been constrained in the past year or two.

  13. Australia gets the policys and the politicians it deserves not the other way around, Australia needs a grassroots push back against this deliberate attack,
    And lets be honest people are lazy and weak its not coming. Independents will slowly continue to steal votes but not quick enough we are done.

  14. I don’t mind the levels. But can we at least engineer the intake so that we are getting European or South American females, instead of Indian males?

  15. Neither major political party represents the will of the people. Therefore we swap gummints regularly as that is the only option we have to register our displeasure at being ignored by those fcukheads. But once each new gummint gets in, it also ignores the people, the people get angry at the gummint and the party hacks automatically assassinate the unpopular PM because they are really stupid and think a new leader will solve their problems. This results in a new gummint coming in that ignores the will of the people, who get angry…

    Any government that made only the slightest attempt at representing the population rather than being a bunch of self-serving, psychopathic, corrupt cnuts would be in power in perpetuity.

    Unfortunately, there is no cure for being a cnut. As SloMo is doing now, and Mr Shortone is about to demonstrate to the best of ability in the near future.

    • Their problem is that their funding and power base has interests that don’t align with the publics. they aren’t stupid but understand on which side their bread is buttered. Unfortunately the electorate never seems to work this out.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Those “power bases” , lobbying against the publics will, that the leadership is so depressingly beholden to could be put in their place by a Rank and File of a million members,…instead of the paltry 53,000 current membership.
        Half of that membership dont really participate much, meaning Careerist Apparatchiks and Ambitious sociopaths in the leadership only have to “Win over” or manipulate around 25,000 people.
        Even less numbers of members to contend with in the LNP and yet these 2 Parties have Ruled this country for generations.
        Want to aee more Democracy,…join one of the winning parties, they both have democratic structures within them and demand some change, convince others to do the same, advocate for what you will and demand it be voted on.
        Wanting greater Democracy for our country can only be achieved through it existing within our Ruling parties.
        Its the only nonviolent way,…a “new” pro democracy party is no where on the horizon,…protest vote for another if you must,…but join one of the ruling parties to be able to Really vote some of these pr!cks out.
        If you say your ready for some Violent revolution at keast ask your self first,…have I really exhausted all other possibilities first.
        https://youtu.be/mLAeNmRwY3I

      • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Garrett
        He no doubt had the same thoughts, I would love to go ask him now, after putting them into action, if he still belives them.
        Assuming that the grass roots members of the political party are likely to be of similar views, then manipulating or winning them over should take the same amount of effort and deception if there are 25,000 or 25,000,000. Isn’t an election just a larger scale version of the party processes anyway?

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        There is a disconnect between the Party Leadership and the Rank and File,…just as there is with our Parlimentarians and the Citizens thay are supposed to represent.

        I tell you this,….there is very little effort put into Recruiting new Members. The ledareship of both parties don’t want a Big Membership base,..its to hard to controll the Narrative,…too hard to handle larger numbers of people wanting to express what they see the direction the Party should take.
        For this reason alone, is why Millions of you/us should be joining!
        The simple fact,…they dont want you to,…is why you should!
        https://www.alp.org.au/joinlabor

        Re Peter Garrett,..Celebrity heros are not the core ingredient of Change,….People turning up, in large numbers, in Solidarity with eachother is what matters.
        There are no saviours to come and “save us”,…we have to do it for ourselves.

      • You mean like when we go and vote every election?

        I also think you misinterpret the lack of recruitment, it’s not because they don’t want a large base, but because they don’t care either way. They see the rank and file party members the same way they see the electorate, a mere nuisance that gets in the way but has to be dealt with every few years.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Going and voting every so many years is not enough for Us to have a Democracy that listens to its Citizens wishes.
        Policies are developed within the Political Parties.
        This is where Meaningful inclusion in policy creatation CAN take place,…but it Requires a degree of Active participation, way inexcess of turning up at your local public school every 4 years.
        You might not like this fact.
        But if you and so many others are truely Pi$$ed off about organised money corrupting our Parliment and Political Parties,…then YOU have to stand up, bear witnesses, Call out, and Demand better.
        This widespread mentality of Lazily just wanting someone “Better” to vote for,…without having to really do anything yourself,…is an integral part of why our system is failing the majority of our fellow Australians.

        https://www.alp.org.au/joinlabor

  16. Somehow I think the biggest winners in the next election will be independents against high immigration. The majors are finished and are hated by many.

  17. A vote for ALP or LNP is a vote against your children’s living standards.
    They both endorse a Big Australia which has eroded living standards to such a point that many anti-immigration are being lost in the masses of new immigrants, who know no different.
    What would our diggers be thinking given they fought for a better country?
    Our country has been turned into a cesspool by property developers, retailers, vested interests groups that hold their meetings in private with politicians to secure their own ends, while WE THE PEOPLE SUFFER.
    Put a stop to this madness and vote against the major parties that have sold out our children’s futures.

    • I will but I wish the rest of Aus would too. If labor get in looks like China will extend its takeover

  18. Mass immigration is #lazyeconomics. Most politicians are lazy. Therefore we have mass immigration.

  19. Why is anyone surprised. Bill is being entirely consistent with his previous statements.
    Bill represents the interests of the CFMEU not the interests of ordinary Australians.

      • @gramus as in the stability pact? The numbers are with the centre-unity faction. The stability pact is a pretty complex web of agreements to prevent open factional warfare within the Victorian ALP.

  20. Liberal voters are willing lie believers and Labor voters are cultists. its all very depressing.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Could you expand on what you mean by the “Cultist” nature of Labor Voters.
      Some examples maybe?

  21. The Big Australia genie is well and truly of the bottle and will not be going away any time soon.
    Get used to the new normal.
    Without high levels of immigration our economy will go down the toilet within 2-3 years, at best.
    With high immigration, we will become a toilet. It will just take longer.