Community support for mass immigration collapses

By Leith van Onselen

The mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy has clearly lost the community’s support, with the five most recent national opinion polls all showing majority support for lowering immigration:

  • 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.

Earlier this month, a Galaxy opinion poll commissioned by the Bus Association of Victoria mirrored these national results, with more than two-thirds of Victorians believing that Melbourne’s population is growing too fast. From The Herald-Sun:

MELBOURNE’S population has soared past 5 million, and two-thirds of Victorians say it is growing too fast.

According to a new poll commissioned by the Bus Association of Victoria, only 29 per cent of people say the growth rate is about right…

“Clearly, Victorians believe that too many people are flooding into Melbourne and this is affecting its liveability.”

Now, a similar poll conducted in New South Wales shows that around two thirds of Sydneysiders also want immigration reduced, whereas half oppose more development to accommodate population growth. From The SMH:

More than 63 per cent of voters polled for the Herald supported restricting migrant numbers while 50 per cent opposed more development in Sydney to accommodate population growth.

The Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said the debate around population should focus on people and how to” ensure the best quality of life for all of us”…

Ms Berejiklian said there needed to be a national debate about population policy and she would be encouraging Mr Morrison to “join me in leading that discussion for the country’s benefit”…

“Rather than talk about a big Australia, we should always strive for a better Australia. We also need to encourage and make it easier for people to consider moving to regional NSW.”

With Melbourne’s and Sydney’s populations soaring by 250,000 and 193,000 people respectively over the past two years alone, and by 1.2 million and 950,000 people respectively over the past 13-years, who could blame them?

They have watched on as both cities’ liveability has been destroyed via worsening congestion, infrastructure crush-loading, and hideous erosion in both housing affordability and housing quality (e.g. shoe box apartment living).

The fact remains that as long as this mass immigration madness persists, liveability in both Melbourne and Sydney will be unambiguously eroded. This was explicitly projected by Infrastructure Australia, which modelled that traffic congestion would worsen, and access to jobs, schools, hospitals and open space would all deteriorate as Melbourne’s and Sydney’s populations surge past 7.3 million people and 7.4 million people respectively by 2046:

Why won’t our politicians listen to the will of the people and slash immigration back to sensible and sustainable levels?

It’s the easiest and best solution to safeguard living standards in both cities.

In any event, Gladys Berenjiklian is yet another politicians career about to be taken by ‘Big Australia’. When will they learn?

[email protected]

Unconventional Economist


  1. boomengineeringMEMBER

    When was there any support for mass immigration ? Chinese gold rush ? pearl divers ? 10 pound poms ? small in number didn’t even have much support.

    • It really does not matter whether there is community or voter support. What matters is that big business and the Property Council support mass migration, and they lobby (pay) politicians to do their will.

      Stop a few boats and the community can be fooled into thinking migration has been stopped.

    • There has always been support for 100k per year; there has never been support for 200k per year or higher. This is like a previously overweight person who finally wakes up and starts eating in healthy proportions.

    • boomengineering, it is hard to say if the 56% figure was lower in the past.

      Polling is rarely done on the issue. Consider this: not a single poll has been done on UBI in Australia!

  2. For the first time the Australian Government Agriculture Minister broadcast the words ‘sustainable farming’ that has been the bane of past policy makers throughout Liberal and Labor Governments. Better than sustainable the argument of lower population needs to be framed around ‘carrying capacity’ based on the science we have employed through CSIRO since it’s inception whilst politicism of policy ignores Australian University research institutes who have known for the better part of 50 years we cannot carry more than 20 million without wholesale destruction and capitulation of the arable land and water we have had (note HAVE HAD in the past and present we have less).

    Triple bottom line accounting is an amenable practice to reconcile in the neo-liberalist framework however Australian Governments have ignored the practice whilst ignoring their electorates time and again…thus 6 Prime Ministers in 10 years and wild swings in long held electorates at the State Government level.

    Political collapse is here NOW and yet we are still to see the power vacuum clutched from the grasp of captured parties in Australia to reconcile our social and environmental catastrophes already upon us. A McDonald’s job anyone or maybe a coffee…………….

    • Yeah good points. I do worry about being able to support the current population with our water supplies and farm land.

    • I agree. The left guilt thing is pumped hard and maybe half the population does not think in the abastract. Was so when Whitlam looked this in hope of fixing schooling to get more abstract thinkers.

      The easy way is to state Australia cannot support, grow food for, have enough water for more than 23million people in total. If more then we are over carrying capacity. Everything degrades. Then no guilt. When people die or leave then there is a place.

  3. to add McDonald’s, Dan Murphy’s, Coles and Woolworths typically hire 20 years old or less to save that $4 and hour in typical daily rate salary. All those over 35 without a career job you have been confined to the dustbin of the Australian labour force in favour of the Visa workforce (whatever visa it is now) and with the Australian Visa system captured by Gaming syndicates and the offices of the Australian GOvernment understaffed to pay lip service to investigative compliance good luck to those who think the HOLLOW MEN and the HOLLOW POLICY they employ will make a difference. We need a PRime Minister who WILL make a difference and look out Bill that great big EXIT DOOR is waiting for you too if you cannot reconcile the neo-liberalist forces still emanating from CHOGM Commonwealth Heads of Government and the Queen let alone the right forces within your own party. The opening line of the winners speech should read “Well may say Neo-Liberalism is dead and confined to the dustbin of History, may Australia and it’s people prosper for all time from this moment forward”

  4. Fairfax is running a huge and hypocritical series on wages. They refuse to admit that the most important reason for the downward pressure on wages, especially in the hospitality and other retail, service and small and medium businesses is because of the massive numbers of work visa workers, foreign students and immigrants undercutting locals by extra unpaid hours or accepting underpayment or paying kickbacks or whatever to get jobs in a jobs market with huge under-employment. If they think that it is possible to police this they are living in la-la land, but of course they’re total tools or useful idiots or both. We care, yeah, sure you do….traitors.

    • Fairfax also in Melbournes Age now pretending to be leaders on reporting concerns about the strains being put on Melbourne by massive population growth. It was The Age who about a decade ago started editorialising in favour of mass population growth. This editorial policy was reflected in its reporting where any quality of life problem was not connected to population growth, it was consistently never mentioned as being a cause of any problem. Only recently, rather brazenly, The Age started to reposition itself as concerned about population growth, while of course never acknowledging that it consistently and strongly advocated for population growth starting a decade ago. Next time you see a story on their website about the problems caused by population growth, make a comment mentioning The Ages role in this mess and asking them to admit mass population growth is what the Age has spent the last decade promoting. They are gutless and cant take criticism, so unlikely it will be published but still good to let them know people are aware of their blatant hypocrisy and lack of foresight

      • Their main source of revenue is the property market so what do you expect from what essentially is an RE rag..Tools.

      • Well no, The Age still markets itself as the news source it once was, a journal of record. So what I expect is for it to come clean about its changed focus in light of the way it markets itself. And people should contribute comnents to make them aware that its readers are aware of the reality of its failure in advocating mass population growth in the last decade

      • @astrolin, you are expecting truth in marketing? Good luck with that, if it was true it wouldn’t be marketing would it?

      • What a total f-up. I used to respect NZers for their no bs attitude. RE is the worst corrupter of all.

  5. reusachtigeMEMBER

    #fakenews and #alternativefacts! Everyone I know, and I know the right sort of people, absolutely love the vibrancy of mass imported human capital and have learned how to make good profits from it rather than whinge. It just seems to be a small number of people who don’t have the ability to adapt and cope that complain about this, ie, the leaners.

  6. We also need to encourage and make it easier for people to consider moving to regional NSW

    Yeah…regional Australia. Where there’s no work, and…far more importantly…no fcuking water. Gladys really is as stupid as she looks.

    • It’s probably more to do with boosting house prices in the regions, but yeah, water, any service is way less and sure to cause the regions to sink further into desperation. The broader point is that as our resistance to mass immigration grows, all the political parties signal more, and their push is extreme on the metric that since the 25M figure was reached, 45,000 new immigrants arrived in a few weeks I was told..not sure if that is true, but that’s about 90 wide body jets full, so it’s possible I guess.

    • Afund is right, it’s about spreading & deepening those psychopathic rentseeker tentacles – They’ve never cared about the dying regions Ever – till now! The problems they’ve already got will magnify faster in a regional microcosm.

    • If the immigrants move to rural Australia we will never hear from them again – because the phones don’t work out in the sticks.

  7. Premier Gladys said rather than talking about a bigger Australia we should strive for a better Australia. That is a blatant plagiarism of Sustainable Australias slogan of “Better, not bigger.” Not a coincidence I wouldnt think though in the Liberals’ hands,, the concept of “Better” is in dangerous and unsatisfactory territory.

    • I think people are already getting pisst off in the traffic, at overcrowded schools, overflowing hospitals, bursting trains, wages going nowhere as inflation of essentials, ever more road tolls, gas prices, rents, under-emplloyment, casualisation. They might not understand the intricacies but they have a general idea that visa workers, foreign students, mass immigration from the third world has more than a little to do with all this. Trouble is, our hollowed out, post mining boom economy now depends on it. Catch 22.

      • “Trouble is, our hollowed out, post mining boom economy now depends on it. Catch 22.”
        The answers lie back in time.

  8. Put Sustainable Auistralia first or second or third on your Senate ballot paper. We need some intelligent life in there.

  9. Gladys is being smart with her positioning on this issue.
    She knows she needs to own it in order to win the next election.
    She can’t do anything about the numbers (they are set at the federal level) but she can speak to the concerns.
    And that is what she is doing.

    • I’m tired of hearing that this is a Federal problem and that the only thing state governments can do is whinge, because it’s just not true.

      See, there’s more than one state. Liberals like the free market, so surely they understand ways to make a product (a Sydney region address) less attractive to potential buyers, compared to other products (like a Melbourne or Adelaide region address) that the buyer could consider. Primarily this is around raising prices to the point that potential buyers perceive greater value elsewhere.

      She can do things to encourage the numbers downward. Put a no-nonsense 20% (TWENTY PERCENT) tax on non-permanent-resident purchases by foreigners like Vancouver has. Get rid of the teardown exemption that lets non-permanent-residents buy an existing property if they promise to tear it down and build a new one. Put in a land tax for all non permanent resident held properties, even if your kid is living in it as a “student”. Require that people rent for 5 years in the Sydney region before they can buy one home, which will encourage parents sending their kids to school in Australia for real estate investment purposes to pick somewhere other than Sydney to send them. Put taxation on school fees so that foreign students remit payments that flow through to the state as well as to the university or diploma mill they’ve contracted with.

      The problem is that all of these will trend property prices downward, as a tradeoff for improving quality of life for those who aren’t investors (who are otherwise profiting from high immigration), so she’s not willing to do it.

      • All very good ideas, yes they can be done.
        You just have to get the traitors out of the State governments too

      • ABS interstate migration figures confirm that NSW has been doing an excellent job of encouraging migrants (and everyone else) to live anywhere (in Australia) but NSW for more than a decade.

      • Robert, my understanding is that they’re pricing existing Sydneysiders out, and they’re exiting, to be replaced by a greater number of migrants who are more OK with the declined living conditions now on offer, vs. 20 or even 10 years ago. This is not a solution to the problem.

      • by a greater number of migrants who are more OK

        My comment was tongue in cheek, but still worth pointing out that NOM to NSW fell over the last year, and fell more than for Australia as a whole (12.7% fall for NSW vs 8.8% for Australia as a whole), so migrants are finding NSW a relatively less attractive place than the rest of Australia, and no sign that migrants are coming to NSW in greater numbers than previously.

  10. Doubt there’ll be any genuine reduction in the immigration intake in the foreseeable future.
    The unholy alliance formed by the union of the progressive Left with their multiracial ideology and the economic Right’s globalist ideology, has manifested a perfect storm, a monster in the form of the immigration program of the past 45 years, especially since the traitor Howard government period, the monster is now on steroids.
    This unholy ideological alliance means all main political parties are foisting the Big Australia (‘black Australia policy’) on the people.
    The traitors are in all the parties, however the Labor party are especially disgusting and treasonous as they are supposed to protect and represent the Australian workers.

    If the permanent immigration is belatedly reduced it will likely be trivial, perhaps 20,000, these cuts will be made up and surpassed by inventing more temporary entrant visas and increasing the time on these visas, so temporary entrants are here for years and years and years.

    What is the solution to the treason
    There may be protesting in the streets, like Vietnam war protests, this could be effective,however the the people are being brainwashed through the education system, so this is unlikely to happen in large enough numbers to alter treasonous government ideology.
    So, what next, a new party a national socialist party, a party that truly puts the people, the workers and the nation first.
    The national socialist party would be led by a great orator, to inform the people of the treason of the past 40 odd years and lead them into the light once again.

  11. We need moar welfare dependant economic reffos to rent our Negatively Geared dogboxes. Otherwise our economy will collapse!