Immigration consensus shatters: NSW Government demands cut

By Leith van Onselen

A day after the federal Labor Opposition finally admitted that mass immigration is crushing wages, the NSW Government has admitted that the migrant intake is “out of control” and has demanded it be cut in half. From SBS News:

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian wants to halve the number of overseas migrants entering her state and thinks state and territory leaders deserve a seat at the table when the federal government draws up immigration policies…

“We definitely need to take a breather and look at the numbers,” she told Nine Network on Wednesday.

NSW has a net inflow of about 45,000 people a year at the time Liberal prime minister John Howard was in power, compared to around 100,000 today…

“My government is building more roads and rail, schools and hospitals than ever before in our state,” she said.

“We are playing catch up and we do need to take a breather to make sure we have that infrastructure in place, to make sure our infrastructure growth is sustainable”…

“The states have never had a voice when it comes to immigration and population policy and I think that needs to change,” she said.

“The states are the ones that need to build the infrastructure to make sure we can handle a sustainable population.”

Meanwhile, NSW Opposition Leader, Luke Foley, has repeated his call for lower immigration:

“Only a few months ago, the Premier said the current rate of immigration was about right,” he said.

“The population of Sydney soared from 4 to 5 million during the life of this Government. They’ve been happy with that.

“This is a belated conversion from the Premier I think it says more about the political difficulties she’s in after the last few weeks.”

In February, Mr Foley said a reduction in the migrant intake number would give Sydney a chance to catch up on infrastructure, but he came under fire for comments he made about a “white flight” from some of Sydney’s western suburbs.

“You have to say Australia’s largest city Sydney is groaning under the weight of congestion,” he said.

This is a paradigm shift in the immigration debate. We’ve always said that the immigration battle would be won in NSW, given the extreme pressures being felt in Sydney.

The NSW Government’s capitulation, which follows the Labor Opposition’s demands for lower immigration, shows just how toxic mass immigration has become politically. The federal government will soon be forced to cut.

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Unconventional Economist

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

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  1. It’s not just the numbers that have turned people against mass migration, but the mix (or, lack thereof) as well. You can’t expect to import from two of the most corrupt and morally bankrupt nations on earth and expect daisies.

    It is not just the ‘infrastructure issues’, it is that the Australian culture is falling off a cliff, replaced with dross.

    Mrs B can say we need a breather to play catch up, but let us be honest, people have had enough of a surge of cultures that have no interest in playing nice with the locals.

    We don’t need to welcome the world’s hobbled and rude masses.

      • I used to be pro all that stuff too!

        But there was the Armidale immigration guy on 702 this morning and I had to turn it off as it was making me too mad!

        And I was thinking – everyone’s been pushed too far, so now nothing’s getting through.

        What an old curmudgeon I have become. Bah humbug!

      • Same here. But I have a great many friends and acquaintances of Chinese and Indian origin (mostly 2nd or 3rd generation) who are saying the same thing.

    • two of the most corrupt and morally bankrupt nations on earth

      Please clarify, which one is Australia, the 1st or the 2nd?

    • It’s not just two of the worst, but (many of) the worst from two of the worst. Money laundering slosh pit and best students go to USA or UK.

    • – If you had watched Mrs. Berejiklian interview with SKY News in the beginning of this year then you wouldn’t have been surprised by this change of opinion. In fact, she has been hinting at this – at least – once. it’s only that she is now more outspoken.
      – Mrs. B is right because the largest part of the costs of immigration falls on the shoulders of the states (VIC, NSW, etc.)

  2. The race is on!
    Liberal and labor will be working furiously to put their policies together with support from their relevant state governments. First one to jump wins, but then it will become a battle of whose policy is better.
    Well done MB. The tide seems to be turning big time.

    • but then it will become a battle of whose policy is better

      but then it will become a battle of whose lies are more convincing

      There – fixed!

      • Exactly I can’t believe Berejiklian sudden change, I’d need to see some action before the election else it’s just another promise they’ll break.

  3. First mover advantage on this issue goes to Gladys. She needs to go hard on this because guess what, is isn’t being reported in SMH.

    They will even try to silence the Premier of NSW on this issue. It just shows how CORRUPT they are.

  4. Not taking away from the good work of Leith and David but ill elieve it when I see it. May just be Gladys trying to salvage a Train wreck upcoming for her government in March and try to marginalise the minor party vote. Even worse in Victoria – both andrews and guy in complete denial.

    Still not voting LibLabs no matter what they promise.


    What did Gladys say afte the Wagga by election
    We have heard the people
    What did Gladys say this morning after the Opera House add debacle
    We have heard the people
    All Gladys has heard is that there is an election looming

  6. Pathetic, Berejiklian. Simply pathetic. Ten years too late. In Sydney the damage is already irretrievable in terms of congestion in so may forms, loss of lifestyle amenity, loss of ecosystem diversity and cultural reprogramming (as mentioned above).

    • Calling it – this is the top. If the NSW govt is talking about it, this is clearly the top. I’d actually guess today for being the single highest AU population count. Or really close. The recession has started.

  7. Even if this insane policy is constrained we are still left with a burning question; how did an elite group of grey ghosts implement such a cynical and irrational strategy that has degraded our quality of life and side stepped democratic processes?

    And what is the culpability of our university sector for being the champions of an anti-democratic and immoral program of exploitation?

    For that matter, how did the vested interests of developers hijack immigration policy and under who’s direction and for what purpose? Because if this is the true nature of Australian governance we can rest assured that we are in bad shape as a nation – citizens in effect have no say in the values, character or size of their own nation. Immigration can be used to serve ideology and profit at the expense of our citizens. As such our federal parliament becomes the enemy of the people and states.

    Once people can be imported like cattle for profit or forced to live in inflammable concrete chicken coops by Aussie Oligarchs with a vision of a mega-city dystopia, we’ve gone a long way down the path to a Kleptocracy. Our democracy is broken if our “leaders” inflict social engineering upon us to feed a broken economic paradigm driven by debt, greed and media spin.

    • you got it Clive ……. I remain utterly bemused by the extent to which so many in the population are wilfully blind to the obscenity that has been (and continues to be) perpetrated upon us. The only reason I don’t remain perpetually outraged by the absurdity of the population ponzi is that, in my estimation, I’ll be either dead or too old to care when the inevitable (given what already has been allowed into the country) consequences play out ………. and in between times I can live in those parts of Australia that haven’t been destroyed ……

    • Far from it. Look at SSM to see how a seemingly simple issue with majority support could possibly get derailed and delayed for as long as possible. Population growth will be much longer and harder battle. Fat Lady sill hasn’t even gotten out of bed yet.

      • +1
        The real corruption on this issue is in Canberra. Scummo will fight to the end. He will lie and deceive but not reduce immigration.

      • Probably is in the Bushian sense. Even if victory can be declared in the conventional sense, the Big Australia insurgency will continue for years. They are well financed and well armed, there can no be relaxing, it will be an ongoing struggle

      • Exactly – in the mass immigration rat wheel economy the state government generates revenue and is involved in the developer’s picnic as a full participant in approving developments, making public assets available for privatisation and permitting self-regulation. They save on infrastructure costs by cramming them in and generate more taxes per sq m by a dog-box economy. By altering building and land use policies and by handing power to local councils (i.e. developers) this disaster got going. It has been as much by the hand of state governments eager to prove their economic credentials.

        But what is Bag Lady Berejiklian actually saying – that party-based policy development is dead? Then what pray is the point of voting for a party so disconnected in policy ambition?

  8. I think everyone needs to take a cold shower.

    State pollies talking about immigration is virtue signalling.

    Until Bill and Scott start fighting to cut the most it means nothing.

    Just the other day Bill was asking Scott for a group hug so that the population ponzi could be bi-partisan.

    Plus the ACTU is still slow dancing with the population ponzi spruikers at the Migration Council.

    And the Browns and have been de-greened for a generation on the issue.

    • +1 There are way to many vested interests in the major parties for this to be anything other than false signalling. Does anyone seriously think the Labor Right in NSW will just suddenly hop out of bed with the property developers, or that the LNP will tell the banks and their endless growth model its over?

      • But you can’t actually win elections if you are kicked out of your party for not toeing the party line. Gotta get party pre selection before you can even worry about winning elections. The preselection is what truly matters.

    • True. But, it is fortuitous that the NSW and Federal elections will happen close to each other. If they are taking opposite sides of the same issue, it will be more noticeable than usual.

  9. Well done to the MB guys on bringing this out and getting a response. However, it would be incredibly naive to think the major parties are genuine on this issue. The best thing voters can do is stick with Sustainable Australia (or PHON/Katter et al if that’s your thing) and run these vermin from the major parties into the ground – they do not deserve our empathy or support.

    • It’s inevitable. Australia will be like Ireland…hordes of temporary workers left Ireland in 2008 when the economy dived. We have an even bigger bubble, more debt and a couple of million temp worker largely employed in the parasitic Property Industrial Complex..

      • It’s also inevitable that government efforts to slow down immigration will take effect just as emigration spikes for maximum pro cyclical havoc.

      • Not necessarily. A Pole in Ireland had a decent 2nd world country to go back to, with women available.

        An Indian male in Australia has only a shitty 3rd world hellhole to go back to, with no women due to sex-selective abortion.

        They will just accept $8/hour cash instead of $10/hour cash, and stay here. Once they get PR, their objective has been achieved anyway, and they can load up on welfare and start the chain migration.

        In India if you are a poor male of a lower-caste, its basically impossible to get a wife if you do not have a visa to a 1st world country – ideally America but Australia works too.

      • Jonno88a – valid points but in a serious downturn like the one in Ireland in 2008 jobs in the construction and service sector vanished so it was not a case of bidding lower to get work.

  10. If I wanted smoke blown up my arse I’d be sitting at home with a pack of cigarettes and a rubber hose.

  11. Hill Billy 55MEMBER

    Had a bloke on Brisbane radio yesterday sprouting how good it was that there’ll be an extra 2 million people in SE Queensland over the next 20 years. I choked!

  12. NSW tribe just move travellers to QLD and VIC tribes

    problem not stop, other tribes caves just become full of travellers

    ACT tribe must stop travellers

    • except NSW tribe can’t even do that. It is all complete BS. The politicians only speak out against their masters wishes on issues they can’t control, or when in opposition and can’t actually do anything.

  13. Just saw Scomo on ABC TV responding to Gladys, saying something incoherent but about states not getting a free pass on building infrastructure.
    Man boobs then stating that he already asked Scomo to get the issue off the table through some sort of joint task force.

      • Yeh Scomo is finding himself increasingly isolated, now the Liberal State Premier has cut him adrift on his pet issue. Not a great help with the by election looming and trailling in the Federal polls as it is

    • They should be. In all jurisdictions voters have thrashed from party to party to sheet home the message. The voters are about to bin the major parties, they can’t say they weren’t warned.

      • Would be fun to see the major parties and their idiot neoliberal policies consigned to history.

  14. – @Leith v. Onselen: No, mrs. Berejiklian had – in the recent past – already hinted that she wanted to reduce immigration. She is now only more outspoken about it. I assume that Mr. Luke Foley’s comments only increased the pressure on her. It simply was a matter of time that she would shift to this current opinion. Perhaps she wants to completely eliminate immigration but that’s currently too extreme (for the time being ???).
    – But to cut immigration by 50% is already a good development. Also VERY good for the financial health of NSW.

  15. Perhaps if we moved away from using GDP and GDP per capita as measures of ‘economic success’ we may actually move away from politicians using the lazy economics that is the population ponzi.

    • I don’t think we use GDP per capita as a measure for success – if we did, we’d admit to having had had at least one recession in since 2000, and population growth would be seen to make achieving good economic results more difficult rather than giving the government a free pass.

    • Fair call Robert. Let’s move to GDP per capita in the first instance, as well as a quality of life index per capita.

      • Lol but if you own a business or a real estate asset who cares about GDP per capita. Only losers participating in the economy earning a wage care about that.

  16. Margaret Thatcher used to wake at 530 and listen to Farming Today on BBC Radio Four before going downstairs at 10 Downing St to her office. As a result her Agriculture Ministers were always peppered with issues by her. Well, I reckon Premier Gladys is also an early riser and was listening to Luke Grant talking to Leith Van Onselen on Radio 2GB early this morning. Its given her the arguments to break with the consensus and change her tune

  17. Whoa! Here comes the counterattack I mentioned in a reply to someone elses comment before, I predicted A Big Australia counter insurgency. ABC News 24 is interviewing the Australian Industry Groups Innes Willox after 5pm. Guaranteed no mention of his vested interest in population growth will occur