Exposing the ‘growth lobby’ behind a Big Australia

By Leith van Onselen

Former public servant and consultant, Stephen Saunders, is the latest to demolish the ‘growth lobby’ underpinning Australia’s mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy:

The groupthink begins with the three main political parties. With varying emphases, all celebrate big Australia for its “jobs and growth”, and for “multiculturalism” or rejection of racism…

By default, the Treasury is our key population agency. To help perpetuate the 27-year “miracle” in GDP growth, it limns each federal budget with high net overseas migration and high population growth. The Reserve Bank, unlike the Productivity Commission, pushes the supposed demographic rejuvenation from high migration…

Most thinktanks side with big Australia. Industry and property groups also welcome more migrants. They dampen training and wage demands, and deliver more consumers and profits…

The growth lobby patronises the lived experiences of ordinary Australians… stretched infrastructure and services, stalled wages and severe housing unaffordability, heightened inequality and urban congestion…

The vibrant city plans! Never mind if these “plans” cram 8 million people into Sydney and Melbourne, and nearly 4 million into Perth, by the middle of this century…

The growth lobby has buried Australia’s deliberations on carrying capacity. It discounts scientific warnings in Australia’s five-yearly State of the Environment reports…

Under big Australia, future gains to the few (or older) look more assured than gains for the many (or younger).

A truer word has never been written.

The sad reality is that incumbent Australians are being forced to sacrifice their quality of life in order to make room for an endless influx of migrants, brought in purely to feed the ‘growth lobby’ of property industry rentiers, banks, retailers, and other big businesses.

We are continually sold on the ‘benefits’ to headline growth, while the huge environmental and social costs are ignored.

Australia needs a revolution.

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Unconventional Economist


  1. Just as sad is that we are destroying our multicultural society which has worked very well, by having a non multicultural immigration mix.

    • Very true – we should only allow 5% of our immigrants to come from any one country.

      In 2017 now we had 39% from just one country, and 26% from a second country.

      • Very much agree. Where are the refugees from Venezuela and El Salvador? Why does Asia have to make up 90% of immigration? Not very multicultural at all.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      It’s what happens when the government outsource immigration policy to the private sector.

    • It’s never worked, it was never voted on either. The word itself is an oxymoron.

      Just another post-modernist ideology that has become heresy to criticise and whose metrics of success are never really defined by those eschew it.

      • Agree Stephen – multiculturalism is a lie. Each culture is unique, that is what makes them separate cultures. Individuals can be cosmopolitan but societies and cultures cannot.

        It’s funny how multiculturalists praise diversity but none of them ever stop and note that, if the entire planet was equally multicultural, cultural diversity would cease to exist.

        And, as a disclaimer, I am ethnically diverse – Indian, European and who knows what else – but I am culturally Australian. Negating multiculturalism does not for a minute make you an ethnic supremacist – it just means you stand by the age old concept of doing what the Romans do, when in Rome.

        Nations and cultures are entwined. They require homologous language and beliefs to exist. In a very real sense, multiculturalism is an attack on any nations sovereignty – but we live in a time of doublespeak where it’s become offensive to note simple truths.

  2. Saw this in the Canberra Times but Fairfax didn’t see fit to publish it in The Age or Sun-Herald?

  3. Also the fake left propaganda to dismiss counter arguments.

    skippy the other day adamant that supply/demand being a multivariate equation therefore it is wrong to jump to the conclusion that flooding the market with workers would result in suppressed wages. It is a mathematically inept argument that assumes that just because there are multiple variables involved that there is little or no correlation between supply and demand.

    I raise this again because I recall a similar argument with another progressive who was trying to convince me that if Sydney population shrunk, and rental vacancies rose even substantially, it would still be possible for rents to rise. It is once again the propaganda of additional variables being applied to supply/demand, and that somehow everyone leaving their properties vacant would be the likely outcome rather than reducing asking rent.

    • Progressives do ’emotion’ and self-righteousness but they don’t do ‘critical thinking’.

      If they were able to think critically they wouldn’t be progressives.

  4. darklydrawlMEMBER

    Was at the local high school tour. No of students in 2010 = 560. 2018 = 1100.

    The result is all the lockers are now outdoors in sheds. The play area has had 6 transportables added, and an old area of the school that has been disused for 5 years due to old age has been ‘recommissioned’.

    The principal is having to ask the state governent for a cap on numbers at a max of 1200 students.

    I asked where the other students would go in future given there is no room in the district for a second high school. She didn’t have an answer. This is just nuts. When are people going to wake up?

    • When are people going to wake up?

      I suspect that most normal people, apart from the lunatic virtue signalling SJWs actually have woken up.

      The problem is that both major political parties are in the pockets of The Great Princes, so they both pretend that everything is just fabulous and the only thing we need is more immigrants and more of that abundant “planning” that has been so evident over the last 20 years or so.

      Confronted by bidirectional spin, and neither party apparently listening to the concerns of the polity, everybody is pissed off as both alternatives for government give us nothing but lies or misdirection in the form of crazy “GDP is rising so all is well” nonsense, while ignoring GDP per capita, failing infrastructure, overcrowded schools, water depletion etc etc…

      Social consensus is cracking. Tension is rising. Roads are jam packed. People are driving through red lights all the time as they struggle to reach their destinations. Multiculturalism has failed, as our cities divide up into ethnic ghettoes.

      Things are, in a word, turning to shite, and it’s going to get worse, not better. Bless our wonderful politicians for what they are delivering to us.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      The “transportable” can fit another one on top, then another, then another..

      In the Westmead area, where a crazy number of apartments have been built and are still being built, there is only ONE local primary school. Enrolment have shot up from 900 in 2010 to 1500 in 2017, so they are stacking demountables two storey high right now. Another school was scheduled to be opened in 2019, but some stupid arsonist burnt down Parramatta public school, so it leaves the whole area one school short.


  5. Australia needs a revolution.

    Leith, it would be interesting to see an article thinking through the strategy of achieving such a revolution given:

    a) it must occur within the framework of existing laws; and

    b) it must acknowledge the strong position of the incumbent parties. (See Appendix II here for an idea of the hurdles faced.)

    If one assumes the major parties will always favour their powerful Mates, this will mean – and I hate to repeat myself – achieving some form of genuine democratisation. That in turn will involve building a coalition including:

    a) those members of the major parties who support Democracy;

    b) those members of the Greens who might, for example, support the right of minor parties with a sufficient representation in Parliament to initiate vetoes or even referendums. Even though the party hierarchy hates Democracy, there are some Greens coming around to this way of thinking;

    c) the States who might support State-initiated vetoes and referendums;

    d) local government who might also support the idea of a local government covering a prescribed percentage of the electorate being allowed to do likewise;

    e) a push of proportional representation in the House;

    f) a push for a constitutionally separated Executive and Legislature. This prevents the Executive from bribing legislators with the promise of ministerial promotion. This need not mean an elected Executive. Some countries (Switzerland, for example) have an Executive appointed by Parliament, but members of Parliament may not simultaneously be Ministers (Article 144); and

    g) party reforms to give rank-and-file members greater control over policies and party leaders. (Some progress has already been made on this front.)

    There are many constituencies who would support breaking the power of the corrupt major party leaderships. They need to be pointed all in the same direction.

    • it must occur within the framework of existing laws;


      When the laws are rigged to achieve nothing but benefits for The Great Princes, and the masses of Small People are buggered and homeless, The Great Princes had better watch out.

  6. As soon as u realise it’s all an illusion. The politicians work for themselves first the party second and you third. They happily sell u out.
    They are on usually 200k a year and that enables their kids to live in nice burbs. They dont take the train or go to public hospitals.
    They love multiculturalism. Just not where they live. A bit like the doctors wives who complain about Nauru but live in the leafy inner burbs no where near a refugee.
    Australia is stuffed. U know it. Demeographically go to your local schools. Not too many older Australians except in Bush schools. In 100 years time expect australia to be at least 50 percent Asian makeup. Just the facts.