Bill Shorten goes all in ‘Big Australia’

By Leith van Onselen

With Australia’s permanent migration program already an insane 180,000 in 2017-18 – more than double the level at the turn of the century:

And net overseas migration (NOM) running at more than triple the historical average, which is projected to continue for decades to come:

Labor’s national conference agreed to effectively double Australia’s humanitarian migrant intake from 16,250 currently to 32,000. From The AFR:

Labor leader Bill Shorten has avoided an internal fight over asylum-seeker policy by agreeing to changes that would see Australia gradually expand its annual humanitarian intake to 32,000 people…

The current humanitarian intake is 16,250 and will rise to 18,750 this financial year.

Labor agreed at its last conference to increase this to 27,000 by 2025. The extra 5000 under the community sponsorship plan would take this total to 32,000 over time.

MB has previously supported Australia’s humanitarian intake being raised from its low current level of 16250 people in 2017-18. However, this must be done alongside large cuts to Australia’s non-humanitarian intake (currently capped at 190,000, but actually 162,500 in 2017-18). Such a policy would achieve dual goals: significantly reducing overall population growth, thereby relieving pressures on infrastructure, housing, the environment, and wages, while also being a good and caring global citizen.

There is also a strong moral argument against poaching skilled workers from developing nations, in turn stifling their economic development, just so they can work in lower skilled roles in Australia.

In short, simply lifting the humanitarian intake to 32,000 people without offsets is a retrograde step and would be destructive to both Australia’s natural environment and living standards.

Clearly, all the recent angst over mass immigration has gone over Labor’s head, which has gone all in a ‘Big Australia’.

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      • By the way can you fix spam bot? Upcom!ng gets binned because it has the word com!ng in it. Seriously..

      • @Gavin

        Just teach your autocucumber to spell that as “upcumming”… and let it loose on all your communiques to everyone else too. 😀 Hilarity will ensue!

      • Putting the three major parties last faces a massive collective action problem, especially given the existence of a Schelling Focal Point.

        For example, even in the Senate (which has a form of proportional representation), if everyone fills in just the first 6 boxes with minor parties, then – unless other people have filled in the SAME minor parties – the vote will simply waste.

        With the House of Representatives it would take an enormous degree of compliance to get everyone to put the major parties last. If each major party has, say, 20% “bolted on” support (remembering that the Schelling Focal Point gives them an enormous head start) and the remaining 60% of voters split their votes 5 ways for their pen-pen-penultimate vote (i.e. 12% each) then the majors will still win.

        The problem lies with the system of so-called “representative government” (see pages 2-4) which has long since ceased to be representative of anything other than well-organised power blocs.

        This will never change until the system of government itself has changed. And that probably means focusing on lesser figures within the major parties to explain that Democracy is actually a viable form of government, then waiting for the opportunity of intra-elite conflict to get it through (a bit like Brexit . . . if it succeeds).

        At the same time it is essential to maintain the fight against those self-styled “progressives” who seem to prefer any form of government – no matter how dysfunctional, no matter how corrupt, no matter how oppressive – rather than contemplate the obscenity of allowing “bogans” and “deplorables” – in general people they regard as their inferiors – to be given a meaningful say in the government of their country.

        Until they are shown up for the snobs they are, there will be insurmountable pockets of opposition to any form of genuine democracy.

      • Isn’t the problem with this Stephen, that the bogans/deplorables are really really easy to lead/trick by people that have poor motives. It’s not enough to give them more say, we need at the same to fix our productive economy so they are are not just sitting ducks for the Canavan’s of this world that will happily spin a turd sandwich into a gourmet roll.

      • See pages 5-6 of the preceding link.

        Misleading voters is actually a consequence of adverse selection under the system of elective government. Democracy:

        a) leads to more informed voters because referendums focus on specific policy proposals rather than personalities, and they are accompanied by information and debate about those specific policies; and

        b) reduces or eliminates adverse selection (because there is no longer a Monopoly on Power available, see page 11 above) thereby leading to a better quality of politician.

      • p.s. Ironically, the “stupid voter” narrative promoted by adversely selected politicians (and their hangers-on) is itself an example of the very phenomenon of deception described above!

        It shows how deeply entrenched this deception has become.

      • Fair enough Stephen, given the chance to think about something properly where voters are not herded into simplistic camps or at the whim of the spin doctors, you’d think there would be better outcomes. I guess the challenge (impossible challenge) is then finding that window for change. Can’t say I’ve ever seen a party politician that wants to give people more say.

      • There are windows of opportunity, often where one would least expect it.

        For example, Peter Reith was an advocate of Democracy. Whilst in office he was forbidden by John Howard to make public comments on it. (

        The Greens might even come around to a form of Democracy which allowed (a) either House of Parliament, or (b) minor parties, to propose referendums or vetoes.

        States and local governments might get behind a campaign that allowed them to put forward proposals to be voted upon by the People.

        The current system isn’t working. A lot of people would be happy for some innovative proposals to improve it.

      • As Stephen says:

        “…if everyone fills in just the first 6 boxes with minor parties, then – unless other people have filled in the SAME minor parties – the vote will simply waste.”

        Absolutely correct.

        Stopping mass immigration requires highly effective use of ballots where people coordinate. The lack of coordination is made worse by the Schelling Focal Point as no MSM outlet will assist. But this can be driven by software.

        What needs to emerge is an on-line platform that provides the basis for people to coordinate against the major parties and to predict what combination of minor party votes will create the most disruption for a given cluster of issues (in this case, mass immigration) in each electorate and state.

        The ALP has no intention to wind back mass immigration and no pragmatic incentive to do so whilst people do not coordinate. The Australian people have not being given an option to vote on this policy – and never will until their vote is rallied towards an outcome.

      • “and never will until their vote is rallied towards an outcome.”
        Until someone provides advertising $$$ to compete with the $$ of the majors, the vote of the apathetic majority won’t be rallied.

      • In the past, you had a choice for your Senate vote, put 1 above the line and let your first choice party determine your preferences (very hard to find before the Internet), or vote below the line, number every box for a huge number of candidates, and take the chance that a missed or duplicated number would make the whole thing informal. Now you can rank the parties in order of preference (because Glenn Druery figured out how to game the previous system against the major parties). This isn’t hard to do. Just number all the party boxes and put the major parties last as LvO says. You don’t have to agree on the individual minor parties. All of them will get your preferences ahead of the major parties.

      • If that strategy becomes sufficiently widespread to be effective do not expect the establishment parties to take it lying down.

        They will simply change the voting system just as they did in the Senate.

        One possibility would be to require the winning candidate to secure a minimum percentage of the primary vote. Only those parties which achieved the required threshold of primary votes would be eligible to receive preferences. Because the minor party votes would be widely scattered, this would ensure that the major parties continued to win.

        We’re not dealing with people who have any commitment to rules or honesty.

        We’re dealing with people who have an overwhelming drive to dominate others and will do whatever it takes to achieve that.

      • This will work most effectively if people can test the popularity of independents and minor parties prior to the election and assess the likely consequence of the preference flow by online polls. Currently there is little information about the popularity of minor parties and the best combination of votes in combination to disrupt preferences flowing to the big 4. But it might be possible to come up with a score on the most disruptive pattern of voting to major parties that has the best chance to get independents or minor parties selected for each electorate and state.

        Bottom line: I’d rather vote to be effective even if my personal preference was not my first vote. Such a strategy may also capture donkey and informal votes. Currently there seems to be no option other than the two horse race. If people knew that there was it might rally a good proportion of these votes to send a message to Canberra.

        This information could be compiled online as an independent service, not a party. Perhaps the first thing to do is to assess what electorates and senate seats are ripe for disruption.

  1. I really think Latham should go for a NSW Federal Senate ticket with ON, forget the NSW upper house.

    Low hanging fruit for ON, during the election have Latham ambush Bill Shorten on his rare Western Sydney shopping centre meet and greet parade.

  2. Why? Why keep immigration so high??

    Yes, increase refugee intake…but why continue to crush-load the country? We aren’t keeping up, and it just keeps housing prices much higher than they ought to be.

    I can’t help but invoke that it’s to put a floor under the economy, as though Labor know there are problems, and they want to keep nominal GDP up for their term in govt…call me cynical 🙁

    It’s hurting their worker-base though – per capita has been suffering for a while.

    • Yeah, but it’s really helping out their political donors. Guess which ones get priority when making policies.

      • bjw
        Absolutely. As Labor are a wholly owned subsidiary of the CFMEU they have no choice. BIg immigration is required for big building and, of course, Bill won’t be concerned by the impending infrastructure crisis – that’s going to benefit Labor’s owners as well. Shame it will take many years and the quality of life for Australians in the bigger cities will plummet. Meanwhile I’m sure Bill will be able to retire to a leafy suburb where you’ll never see an immigrant……

    • The term “refugee” is being abused and that’s part of the problem.
      The world is a fairly peaceful place than what is was a decade ago which saw the Middle East in flames. The only significant hotspots are the Saudi’s fighting the Houthi’s. and the Chinese arresting Uyghur’s.
      Send Houthi refugees to Melbourne, and the Uyghurs to Sydney.

    • The refugee intake is just virtue signalling to defend the offshore processing policy. It says so above.

      We can help 10x as many refugees if we helped people directly in their home regions.

      Those on humanitarian visas have a 40% unemployment rate, and cost the taxpayer $340,000 in welfare over their lifetime. They are over-represented on the crime statistics.

      IQ from many African/Middle Eastern countries is 70-80. They are not culturally or genetically equipped for life in a modern Western society.

      We are burning up the mineral allocation of this country for nothing.

      • It is more humane to put the same spend into foreign aid, assisting more people overseas who will then return to their home countries to help with the rebuild. Plus, it doesn’t help Australia to bring culturally alien and traumatised people to our cities and towns.

      • Father Chris Reilly reports that average Somali women are child factories citing one Somali woman he visited had 23 children (with umpteen different fathers)…Child benefits to these women need urgent revision based on encouraging contraception.

    • @ BurbWatcher “Why? Why keep immigration so high??”

      Because it’s the politically correct thing to do. And it keeps house prices high. And nobody will call him “racist”.

      In any case, Shorten stated a few years ago that he was a Big Australia man. He hasn’t deviated from that.

    • Why increase refuge or humanitarian intake? Statistics show that, after indigenous Australians, humanitarian refugees are the next most likely group of people to remain on government benefits long term.

    • I would say the likelihood most of Labor and Shorten would own investment properties might cloud their priorities and scruples. Self interest always. I still wouldn’t put it past Labor to faaark it up before the election. But not likely.

    • Demographic time bomb. Trying to change the structure of population from a column back into a pyramid. The ultimate pyramid scheme. Highest house prices. Lowest wage growth. Save for our own retirements while paying for someone elses. Oh and compulsory private health to prop that ponzi up. Any more? There are I just CBF. Sold out yet again by the worst generation in history.

    • Funeral parlours and graveyards? More people = more deaths.
      My father in the UK just ran out of time, and the local crematorium was taking bookings at 20 minute intervals. We got him in at 2.20pm on a Monday afternoon. That was the soonest available!
      Besides, it might all turn ugly before then and the patronage of said establishments will increase….

      • Quite funny, in Ireland I went to look at a car for sale. Hoping the seller would be desperate (this was 2012-ish) and things were quite bad. Turns out he wasn’t desperate to unload the car. He was an undertaker and business was as good as normal. Some jobs are recession proof.. 🙂

    • There is none. It’s only consumption follow the globalist expand until extinction. All the major pollirs are joined at the hip. The ANP though might judt sell us out to the CCP

    • Documenting our biodiversity collapse might be something to do, but really this is all housing and big infrastructure. Maybe land a role in our large construction union ha.

      • lol. That big infrastructure union role will be better, and then you’ll get a plumb directorship in an industry fund. Beats speculation Peachy.

  3. Can MB please launch the Anti -Big Australia Party? Go for the senate, the party name will be at the top of the ticket and it will be very clear what you stand for. You only need 500 members – each of us here will sign up. Even one senate seat would do wonders – you would make more money and have more influence and airtime then this echochamber.

    Won’t you think of the children!

    • 500 members, no worries. Increasingly my non-Aussie mates complain about big Australia and it destroying their kids future, oh and the traffic.

      • Good on em, and props for getting a seat in Victoria – I look forward to the maiden speech.

        But they were better as the Sustainable Population Party.

      • Great party, agree with the policies…It is a pity though that the main parties have lost there direction causing smaller parties to set up. Australia, like other western nations, fast becoming like Italy, were as so many fractured small parties end up forming a coalition and nothing gets done, slowly destroying a great country.

      • The psy-ops campaign against sustainable Oz runs deep folks.
        Was just listening in to a fringe radio program here in WA where they were discussing the top 10 words of the year. At the end of the show comes a list of words to look for next year and what would you believe gets suggested… The word ‘sustainable’. with the reason that… and I am not joking with this, that sustainable is going to be co-opted by anti immigration campaigners next year to mean something different than that which it has meant in the past.

        Did anyone else happen to hear this on RTR also?

      • Sustainable Australia just sounds too Green – it’s neither catchy, nor aggressive enough to capture the imagination of the voting public. Not saying the policy is bad – just the name.

        What about something like ‘Australia First’ – try and steal some of the One Nation voters and ride the populism wave sweeping the West.

      • Go and ask as many people as you like. Barely anybody has heard of the Sustainable Australia Party. Crap name that does not cut through. But ‘they’ know better. What a shame they were more concerned with being PC when thinking of that name. Ridiculous.

      • Does the Anti-Big Australia Party cut through enough, or does it need to be the Anti-Mass Immigration Party?

      • A lot of work has already gone into setting up the Sustainable Australia Party. Lots of good policies on population. Not necessary to set up yet another very minor party.

        Yes, but SAP is one of those lefty-libtard parties that a sizeable chunk of the people complaining about immigration disagree with on pretty much everything else.

      • True – SA has lots of good policies but shows little will to lobby hard with arguments that expose the corruption of the political process and the vested interests.

        They have yet to discern themselves from The Greens who tell everyone that they are all about sustainability, but in reality are a radical left party of identity issues with a green coat of paint.

        SA are softly-softly in their approach, awaiting for the critical mass and a national catharsis that will never come. And if it does come they will have missed the wave.

        At the heart of our moribund political system is the failure to lead due to a fear of offending people and powerful players. This becomes self-fulfilling as it empowers the very people you fear.

        We have too many schemers planning to sneak in a political goal by stealth. However, there is no time left for this sort of play. Either get in and start swinging or forget it.

        I’m thrilled that SA has policies that I like but I cannot see how they intend to implement them unless they take the fight up to the people who have sold out. They are the alternative to The Greens but have so far failed to tell anyone why.

    • Peter, true, but if SAP doesn’t get a federal senate seat in the next election, despite the growing resentment towards mass inmigration, then a new party which is more explicit in its purpose to appeal to the everyday person, is required.

  4. Shorten should ask his counterpart Macron how immigration is going in France. He will be next if he’s not careful

    • We have a bipartisan commitment to embracing the diversity of a chunk of Western Europe.
      It makes us feel global and sophisticated and cosmopolitan.

  5. By the way the yellow vest movement has spread to Belgium and Canada. It’s the same all over the Western world with collapsing fiat money. It’s not surprising the same old tricks are being used by Western politician to stuff new entrants into the fiat ponzi scheme. The curtain is up and the bankers are exposed as the puppet masters and Western politicians (and mainstream media) as hopelessly corrupt puppets. They are in full view. Have a look at the comments on the yellow vest movement videos on youtube. Bankers being blamed point blank. The masses are awake.

      • Those Russian Vankers

        The whole Russia thing is quite hilarious actually, and wasn’t even a thing before Trump. I guess the globalists (especially those in Europe) felt trapped between 2 cranky old white alpha male nationalists and decided why attack one when we can attack both at the same time?

  6. Crazy brave stuff from the big construction union party. Sustainable Australia and One Nation now have clean air.

  7. > There is also a strong moral argument against poaching skilled workers from developing nations, in turn stifling their economic development, just so they can work in lower skilled roles in Australia.

    “Operation ‘Keep darkie down’ “

      • Well, it’s not slavery, but it’s lose-lose from a broad social perspective.

        The originating country loses their talent.

        And we waste it.

      • It’s not even vaguely “slavery”.

        The kind of high skilled people who could be “poached” have a smorgasbord of opportunity in their own countries. Just none as good as in first world countries.

      • It’s not slavery – think remittances. The dollar they make cramped up with 12 of their best friends to a room can have a far more significant impact back in their home countries. It is a race to the bottom though

  8. The LNP wants high immigration so that big business can keep ripping us off. The ALP wants high immigration to increase their voter base as historically new migrants tend to vote ALP. Our quality of life is stuffed either way

    • The ALP also likes big immigration because the big construction unions are winners on massive infrastructure projects and high density housing etc (jobs n growth). The Greens like it because of open border ideology. It’s some serious cross-fire. People will really need to vote singly on this issue if they want change, or just give in and buy a few more houses, which is probably what will actually happen lol.

  9. I am interested in policies where we increase our GDP per Capita. Improve my living standards and that of my fellow Australians and I will vote you in..

  10. Until we have people willing to stand up at Labour Conferences with ‘Cut Immigration’ emblazoned across their shirts, I fear we will have no progress on this issue.

    The Liberal party are in shambles. They logically should be the ones opposed to this, since its really just a program to bring in Labour voters by the boatload.

    Best we can do now is to use the Left’s rhetoric against them: argue for diversity by limiting the largest countries (India and China) to a maximum of 10% of the total intake, and argue for gender equality by ensuring that 50% of all migrants from all countries on all visas are female.

  11. 673,000 foreign students & partners. Dec 2018.
    Up 8% plus from 624,001 in Dec 2017.
    Another 49,000 in just one year.

    See AustralianEducation Gov snapshots.
    30% are Chinese Hukou slum clearance and the rest are of a similar quality from South East Asia & India, Nepal, Bangladesh etc.

    Third world unskilled migrant guestworkers on an very long stay education visa alibi.

    The vast majority (575,000) are doing very low level nonsense courses, many without any international recognition. Courses that are available for free online or in their home country. They aren’t here for education.
    Long stay – 4 to 9 years is common with visa churn.
    90% are in Sydney & Melbourne.
    Occupying some 125,000 dwellings – 92% ‘rent’ in private shared accommodation, invariably now foreign owned ex Australian modest dwellings converted to migrant only cash in hand sublet bunk share.
    Displacing over 400,000 Australians in housing availability.
    We now have 116,000 Australian permanent homeless & another 350,000 seeking affordable housing.
    Costing $3 billion a year.

    Are they an ‘export’ ?
    The majority bring in a minimum of funds – often ‘self declared’ – or an easily frauded once off bank statement & then never checked again.
    That’s estimated at only $2.4 billion a year (DHA Aust Education- new COE intake) and its heavily frauded.

    The fact is that most of these foreign students are third world poor are recruited by foreign criminal syndicates & are usually in loan debt to their foreign trafficking rings even for the small amount of entry level money in for the first semester..

    Procured in to work – both legally in limited work rights and then illegally.
    Forming a collective $31 billion onshore Foreign student onshore sub economy (treasury says $43.5k each in income / expenditure).
    That money was EARNT HERE.
    Where exactly is the export?

    75% are working illegally in visa breach (UTS & Syd Uni studies) – cash in hand, black market labour rings,
    Fake & multiple ID, cash in hand. No tax paid.

    => That’s 504,000 Australian jobs stolen.
    Costing $9.2 billion in Centrelink alone.
    More than the foreign students even pay in fees ($8.2 billion Deloitte).
    Then add on housing impact, transport impact, cash in hand & fake ID, no tax paid, wider wages impact – they are a massive economically & socially negative ‘import’ of tens of billions of cost, rather than being an export.

    How can they be an ‘export’ – if they arrive in loan debt, minimal funds if any, are trafficked in by foreign criminal syndicates only to work illegally, to snag a PR, and to be an anchor for chain migration.

    Reducing our GDP per Capita by -3.7%.
    Lowering Australian wages nationally by some 5.7%, especially among Australian youth & mature age.
    And a massive destructive economic & social impact.

    673,000 foreign students on pretext alibis with 75% working illegally is 5 times the number of the 457 primaries / dependents.

    🔹 5 times the number of 457’s.

    What is Labor & Bill Shorten’s position on all this?
    Silence & omission.
    The whole foreign student program needs a Royal Commission thrown at it.

  12. British trade unionist and writer Paul Embery on the modern Left’s obstinate refusal to accept inconvenient truths about mass immigration:

    “There is a conspiracy of silence among labour movement leaders on the real impact of unrestricted immigration in working-class communities. It is their own version of ‘Don’t mention the war’, a symptom of the group-think that infects today’s Left from top to bottom. Most leaders and activists, comfortable in their own collective prejudices and with no experience of thinking critically or independently, are unable to comprehend that there might just be a credible alternative point of view on this issue – one that isn’t rooted in ‘dog whistle’ politics or ‘xenophobia’, but is perfectly commensurate with the traditions of democratic socialism and trade unionism.

    No, opponents must instead be smeared and denounced.

    They ought to take a long hard look at themselves. Because, in the end, their support for open borders, far from bringing about the unity of the international working-class and breaking down social and cultural barriers, has served instead to entrench a system that commodifies humanity, atomises communities and allows big business to cut wages in the quest for greater profits. How could any representative of working people be proud of that outcome?”

  13. “Big Australia” is about “Big Government” and “Big Commerce”. More customers for Harvey Norman and more customers for the Education / Medical / Human Services arms of Government (maybe the whole of Government really …) It is not going to bring a better lifestyle for anyone nor better services from government. More taxes and more laws. The clowns in government are not there to serve the people.

    I have not heard any politician speak about reducing the size of government for years and years.