Scott Morrison slams Scott Morrison’s ‘migrants to the bush’ policy

By Leith van Onselen

Scott Morrison appeared on ABC Lateline denouncing the government’s plan to tag and release migrants to the bush as a policy brain fart:

TONY JONES: Can you have a debate on population without a debate on immigration numbers?

SCOTT MORRISON: Well of course you can’t… Two thirds of the increase in population is coming through immigration and so if that’s not part of the debate then I don’t know what these guys are going on about. You’ve gotta focus on the things that you can address. Now they can talk about all these other issues, they’re all really important, but those things are not going to solve themselves in the next term of government.

What you can do in the next term of government is ease the pressure on those problems by throttling back, and if this Government’s not prepared to throttle back then they are trying to put one over the Australian people…

We’ve also made it clear that we’re not comfortable with the 36 million [population] projection…

The Government says it is not about immigration and they want to put out this false hope that they can move all these people around the country differently. Well those who are coming into the country, less than 10 per cent of them currently go out and settle in regional areas and rural areas.

So to hold out some false hope that this problem’s going to be solved because a Population Minister is going to fantastically move people around like has never been done before in our history, is I think unfair to the Australian people to suggest that that is realistic option, certainly in the short or medium term. Long term I think there are still real doubts.

The history of settlement over centuries means that people will come and gravitate to areas where there is population…

Scott Morrison also appeared on ABC’s PM program, where he once again rubbished the ‘migrants to the bush’ policy:

It holds out unrealistic promises that all of this can be turned around by everybody moving to regional areas.

We simply know, through centuries of migration experience, that that simply isn’t how it happens.

Are you confused? Well you should be, because these interviews were done in 2010/2011 when the former Gillard Labor Government was also spruiking a ‘migrants to the bush’ policy to relieve population pressures in the major cities.

Fast forward to 2018 and Australia’s permanent migrant program is just as big as then, but even more concentrated than ever into Sydney and Melbourne, which received 86% of migrants last financial year.

History doesn’t repeat but it sure does rhyme. Don’t fall for the Coalition’s latest immigration smokescreen, especially when it has been cutting regional visas while in office:

Department of Home Affairs figures… show non-regional skilled migration visas have risen every year under the Coalition, while those dedicated to the regions dropped from a high of 20,510 in 2012-13 to 10,198 under the Turnbull government in 2016-17.

The five consecutive years of cuts to permanent regional migrant visas coincided with a rise in the total immigration level to record highs of 180,000 a year, meaning proportionally more migrants were arriving on non-regional skilled visas under the Coalition.


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    • Prime Mouthbreather’s just Another in the conga line of unflinching Hypocrites – Good pick up Jelmech!

  1. Lol had a real brain melt reading that until I realised it was old circa 2011 Poo Hat. I like his old stuff better than his new stuff

    • +1 how funny.

      Similar to when Malcolm wrote an article about negative gearing tax advantage and the dangerous property bubble tied to China in 2010. Only to defend it a few years later.

  2. stagmal do not believe travellers come to bush

    travellers rent cave in dubbo, have animal skins and mammoth bone delivered there, make look like live in bush

    travellers really live in big cave settlement areas, drive stone wheel and log uber, work in “chinese” and “indian” tribe food cave

  3. The lying from the career politicians at the major parties is systemic . There are plenty of good independents and a couple of good minor parties out there. Put the parties major parties last.

  4. Yesterday, the missus and I were interviewed by a Prime7 tv crew in the main street of Wingham (pop. 5,000) on this brain fart. Friends tell us we made the main bulletin in Sydney…
    I haven’t seen it myself (we don’t have tv), but I suspect they only used the missus’s “where are their jobs in the country? We’d love to have some of those ourselves” comments, rather than the more nuanced stuff we gave them.
    At least the MSM seems a little bit interested.

  5. We need some sort of integrity watchdog with teeth.
    People are getting sick and tired of being treated like idiots by members of parliament, Local, State and Federal.

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      It is a game of revolving musical chairs.
      LNP in > ALP out >LNP out >ALP in
      DOH C DOH and around we go
      Rinse and repeat ad infinitum
      The Voters get so dizzy they fail to see the parties are just 2 sides of a whole.
      The 2 major parties are there to protect the interests of the Owners.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      The only “Watch dog” that’ll be in any way effective is, Us,… “We the People” taking control of what ever party or group of parties rule,…no Decision making politician can be fully trusted,…they need to be kept on tight leashes held by the comon people/members of the parties they represent.
      Its Our job,…all of us,…to participate more, bear witnesses and when required speak up, censure and if require roll self serving behaviours.
      The most Ambitious and successful (often sociopaths) need firm guidance from simpler folk like the MB Commentariat and wider community.

      • The most Ambitious and successful (often sociopaths) simply find more and better ways to sidestep same and do as they please.

  6. It’s almost like he’s nothing but a lying prick who’ll say whatever he thinks will benefit him at any given moment, isn’t it?

    • Either that, or so out of touch with reality. They listen to their party machine who also seem to have no clue of what the people are going through, or don’t care. At the end of the day the worst is they go to opposition, and not much changes for their lives. Some get kicked out, but end up with jobs for the puppet masters who ever they maybe, corporate or union. No consequences that we have to live with that’s for sure.

  7. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    Our lowest immigrant numbers in a decade is being bandied around a lot by the LNP at the moment but I hear none from them or in the media making the correlation between this and falling property prices.

    On a side note, but connected …I tuned into 2GB on the way to the Opera house protest last night and Ross Greenwood was talking callers about this “move em to the bush” brain fart and this Indian fellow who announced himself as a recent arrival was talking about skilled work visas and how “They” all work in Sydney and Melbourne,….Ross goes of on a jibe about how these people spend money into the economy, provide employment and buy Property which is good for the economy.
    Ross then askes the Indian fellow if he has purchased a property here,….and wait for it,….he says “Yes, I have 6 properties”
    Ross quickly takes the next caller.
    I laughed my arse off.

    • Watch out for a mass exodus of immigrant property investors if the property market goes belly up. Anyone who thinks they’re going to stay to be left holding the bag for the banks is living in la la land.

      • +1
        It’s literally a daisy chain waiting to happen in the outer suburbs of Melbourne I noticed. That will also flow on to all the massage shops and dodgy restaurants with no-one in them. Uber Eats must be taking a hit too.

    • I work with plenty of long term immigrants ( both European and Indian ) , in fact i am one too, they are some of the ones most against the watering down of the skilled visa program. When we came in it was extremely hard to qualify, you actually had to have hard to find skills and we were proud of that, while now we see people, literally unable to do the job, being flown in by the hundreds …

    • I wish I could laugh, but it’s 3rd world slum lord’s like this that have pushed the cost of housing up for everyone. No wonder I resent them being here. When I hear stories like this or talk to cab drivers on the way back from the airport (Indian) who complain about the Chinese buyers (keeping them out of the game). Yet when spoke to an ex-HK / Chinese cab driver she tells me she hates what mass immigration is doing to Sydney. She said their turning it into HK. Too many people and too many apartments and prices far too high.

      She arrived 20 years ago though. Where as the Indian blokes are all within the last few years.

      • +1000 again Gav, why do I love you so much.

        All of my friends growing up were either ABCs or 2nd gen from HK/Taiwan/Korea (Inner West Sydney) and they are the ones who clued me in on what uncontrolled immigration was doing to the place.

      • Oh the prodigious irony. Escapees from third world shitholes complaining about their compatriots following them and turning our country into a third world shithole and buying up all the real estate to become slumlords.

    • Guys, don’t mention the Indians, you know the comment section will get shut down, if we do. For some reason, Indians are a protected group.

  8. The collapse is baked in, whether it’s slow or fast, all governments have worked tirelessly for decades for this result. I’m going to laugh at all the hard luck stories. Oz is going to become ever more angry, hateful, divided. Down, down, down. This is going to be sooooo funny. Oh dear, how rotten of me. Glad I’m not a Believer, I can be honest. The irony. hahahahahaha !
    Meanwhile enjoying the show, vote Sustainable Australia in the SENATE as either your first or second choice. We need a sane voice in there.

  9. Ah the Bush. In Woop Woop there’s such a high demand for car washers, coders, taxi drivers, pizza shop workers, help desk operators who are fearful of answering a call or an email without using a template, fly by night ‘education’ specialists, call centre operators and real estate agents.

    • blacktwin997MEMBER

      Tell you what, i could get on board with this whole ‘Migrants to The Bush’ thing provided said Bush Migrants got a bounty attached if they were found outside of town/city limits. Think of all the rural bounty hunter employment opportunities, it would be like ‘Bogan Hunters’ but with more diversity and fewer sick Commodore wagons.

      Downside is of course that they’d then add ‘Visa Breach Bounty Hunter’ to the skilled occupations shortage list, and the imports would be so much easier to bribe.