ANU Poll: 70% oppose a bigger Australia

By Leith van Onselen

A new year and another major opinion poll shows the majority of Australians oppose mass immigration and a bigger Australia. That’s right, according to a new survey from the Australian National University (ANU), just three out of 10 Australians believe the nation needs more people. From The SMH:

Almost nine out of 10 surveyed agreed that the high cost of housing was a reason to limit Australia’s population growth. Eighty-five per cent also believed the nation’s cities were over-crowded and there was too much traffic.

Another concern among those surveyed was around labour shortages.

About 90 per cent of those quizzed agreed that Australia should “train our own skilled people, not take them from other countries”…

Lead researcher Nicholas Biddle said…”they do not want population growth to cause crowding, affordability or job security issues nor at the expense of our natural environment”…

According to Professor Biddle,  Australians had a series of serious concerns about a growing population.

Remember, most opinion polls last year also showed the majority of Australians want immigration to be lowered, including:

  • 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;
  • 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; and
  • CIS: 65% in the highest income decile and 77% in the lowest believe that immigration should be cut or paused until critical infrastructure has caught up.

The voter backlash is real and justified. The three major parties need to listen to their constituents and lower Australia’s immigration intake back to historical levels:

Otherwise, Australia is headed toward a projected population of 43 million by 2066:

With Sydney’s and Melbourne’s population ballooning to around 10 million people by 2066:

It took Australia more than 200 years to reach 17.5 million people serviced by adequate infrastructure and a functional political economy. Now we are planning to increase the population by the same number in less than 50 years and expect that living standards will keep pace, as well as the political system not break.

This is true national lunacy and must be stopped.

[email protected]

Unconventional Economist


  1. It weird. It’s the one thing votes left and right can mostly agree on but both parties left and right refuse to address.

    Its almost like both parties think they must lean opposite to their opposing voters views (just because) not realising that their own voters have the same view.

    • Their voters want a small Australia, but their big business donors and lobbyists want a big Australia. Big Australia is great for business, meaning more customers and cheaper labour.

      Money talks, so the parties will do what their owners tell them to, while paying lip service to population, but not doing anything.

      • If you really want cheap labour, many other places around the world where you can get the job done in half the cost.(think software development, manufacturing)
        If your talking about jobs where a human presence is needed (think fruit pickers and hairdressers) these are not the high flying, big spenders that are going to lift the economy.
        The policy doesn’t make sense for anyone. It’s just a flat out odd position to have.

      • “these are not the high flying, big spenders that are going to lift the economy.”
        No, but they sure do make dominoes, 7/11 and fruit farms more profitable.

      • Its the path of least resistance for the governing class – of all stripes. When confronted with the challenge of ruling, the mandarins pull out the same old playbook and the politicians are told it works.

        What’s one to do?

        After all, the economy ticks over. The headline numbers are acceptable. Victim-hood comes over decades – and they can easily be typecast as racists.

        Meantime the political class can throw themselves at the issues of the day. A new republic, bullying, #Metoo, Lisa Wilkinson’s derisory salary – just take your pick. Their support bases can be dynamised on these sugar hits. The froth and bubble makes it seems like great things are being done. Meanwhile the great mass of the population floats along, circling the drain, knowing things aren’t right and hoping their leaders know best – when the path they are leading us down is a slow road to decay and ruin.

      • The parties should be adequately funded by the AEC. I can not believe that the ALP wants to continue being puppets of big retail.

      • The policy doesn’t make sense for anyone. It’s just a flat out odd position to have.

        It’s driven by a desire to squash labour bargaining power through oversupply on one side and a belief that not going along with it will make them look like commies on the other.

        Supply-side economics runs the world and high levels of immigration align to it.

    • DPM
      Very succinct assessment of the political situation on this.
      Perhaps the clowns in the RBA and Treasury now realise the truth of the result of their insane policies of the last 60 years. The whole economy is hostage to this immigration insanity and, perhaps, they have fully informed the politicians of the situation. Whoever tries to reform the economy will be immediately pilloried by all and sundry. There is no political future in trying to make this a productive economy.
      It’s best to leave it to our children to face the terrible consequences!

    • Lol. We live in a plutocracy — the money is in charge.

      Anyone who thinks they live in a functioning democracy is as dumb as a box of hammers.

  2. I heard this reported this morning on ABC news radio. The survey finding was most people want to reduce immigration. It also found support for cultural diversity was high.
    So of course ABC starts off the story by speaking to a couple of racists at a shopping centre.
    Clear ABC bias for Big Australia.

    • Support for cultural diversity is high. I doubt it. Would like to see how they worked that out and the question.

    • As someone else remarked several months ago. Support for cultural diversity is closet racism against the current import of two mono-cultures.

    • Yeah, I heard that as well. Very disappointing. I think the shopping centre was in Perth, so I guess no-one there was going to complain about overcrowding. It’s typical that they ask an opinion about whether we should have more immigrants from people living in places where immigrants aren’t actually going. It’s like asking someone in Goondiwindi whether we should have more snow.

    • I sent the ABC a text saying for once they were even discussing the idea that immigration isn’t god given and laying out a few other truths. 0418 226 576 if you ever want to make a chorus of us.

  3. HadronCollision

    Bewdiful. I can talk about it now and if I get called a racialist (by a family member who looked on in horror as I mentioned congestion, house prices, wages, worker exploitation, water, land clearing, pollution) and say well what fresh hell is this? 70% of Aussies are all racialists!



    • Haha, a lot of folks in my circle of Facebook friends (yes Reusa I know their not real friends), agree when I post articles that agree with the MB stance on this. They can all see it’s destroying their cities. They know we need to lower it.

  4. reusachtigeMEMBER

    This is a sad day for us lovers of vibrancy! The problem with this survey is that it was done by ANU and I’ve always loved that institution for their relentlessly conflicted push to increase vibrancy by bringing in many more freshly imported vibrants. Unfortunately this survey is a major blow to the vibrancy lovers at ANU as their own institution’s survey can now be used against them. It’s not a good day on the vibrancy support front!

  5. People don’t want “uncontrolled” immigration but the trillionaires who run the fiat money ponzi scheme need it to keep the scam going

    Most politicians are owned by the ponzi scheme operators therefore their local people don’t count and immigration will continue at socially unacceptable rates until there is a revolt like in France where heads still might come off

    • From todays print version of SMH:
      Responding to the ANU poll, Coalition voters were the least likely to support a higher population while Greens voters were the most open to the idea, but even amongst them support was less than 50 per cent.

      I saw these figure for the Greens some week ago but lost the link.
      The Greens would do well to revisit their previous population policy, which they dumped in the 90’s otherwise they may find a lot of their voters put Sustainable Australia party in first place.

      • WTF – debt fiat system is broken (peak debt), Greens Libs ALP – it’s all broken and corrupt. The whole system needs replacing which is happening – UK, France, US, AUS with new prime ministers – days are numbered, tectonic change happening now, interesting times.

    • Yup, someone has to keep the mountain of debt serviced and the welfare state propped up.

      In a perverse turn of events, the indebted nations will eventually end up competing with each other for population in order to kick the can one more time … this is going to end very badly and very suddenly.

  6. One wonders if a civil war has broken out inside ANU between the real demographers and that insufferable @DrDemography

    • i can tentatively ask my ANU demographer friend. She spoke on the 7:30 series. she said that she spoke as carefully as she could to not give a position on numbers but to emphasise the need for concern for people involved in whatever approach is taken.

  7. Would be nice to see the survey questions. The way a question is phrased can influence a response a lot. I think this may be why there’s so much difference in outcomes from the various surveys. Where is the ANU’s Dr Demography – was she involved in this survey?

  8. Pretty obvious what the Libs could be promising to do if they were actually interested in winning the next election and/or representing the views of the majority of their constituents and/or governing in the best interests of livability and sustainability of key resources such as water. We all know the reasons they won’t change their tune on this topic so I won’t flog that dead horse. However it must be said that the recent report in MB about the visa rorts in NZ and Oz was positively depressing – more people need to be aware of just how dysfunctional this “system” has become for all concerned (and in many cases it’s the migrants themselves that are worst-affected).

  9. Nice to see some real demographers performing and publishing the results of some actual research, unlike fake demographer Lyin’ Liz Allen, who just publishes her own lunatic opinions on Twitter and spouts gibberish on the ABC while claiming to have done research to back up her views, without being able to point to a trace of any actual research.

    Good on Nick Biddle and his crew, and more power to their arms. May they smite that duplicitous woman hip and thigh with The Righteous Sword of Truth, and long may she choke on the maggot infested chicken carcass of her lies and dishonesty.

    • Clive would be better off throwing his millions behind One Nation campaigning in NSW and QLD for the Senate.
      Now Sustainable Australia are well meaning bunch of people, but are seen to be center-left, not aggressive enough to mix with the ALP, LNP and Greens in the snake pit Federal arena.

      • I’m not sure ON will deliver the changes clive is after. Don’t mistake the campaign with his intentions.

  10. Received a email yesterday containing the following survey link from the ALP.
    Nowhere does it mention migration, it does seem to center on the environment and economy. BUT you can add comments at the end if you like. – my comment was “Its a good thing to see Mark Latham re-entering parliamentary politics again” …..:)

      • Screw the major donors. We might find that regular people become more willing to take out memberships and support the party if they know it will properly represent them by fighting to protect their standard of living and providing a future in this country for their children.

      • A corrupt system no? All donors “support” all majors anyways, so the as to my first comment – whoever cuts immigration wins… But yeah, I’m not holding my breath for it to happen.

        It’s a point that’s been made time and time again by the main contributors on this site.

      • The donors support the parties that provide the policies they want. Massively cutting immigration would kill donations to the party that did it.
        The contributors may understand economics, but they fail to understand politics at anything but a superficial level.

  11. Mr SquiggleMEMBER

    What impresses me most about this survey is the big difference in numbers compared to the other surveys UE links to. Those surveys (mostly) show a support level for migration cuts in the mid-50s.

    By comparison, this survey reads like it put stronger linkages between mass migration and its negative consequences into its questions and…boom…much higher numbers in favour of slowing population growth.

  12. Now is the time for Sustainable to put Population back in their name. Without the words “Sustainable Population” they haven’t got a chance as we saw in the Vic elections. Is it too late for the Federal election?

    • Without significant $$$$ they have little hope of significant success whatever their name. Such is our system.
      Unfortunately their policies don’t appeal to those with $$$ to splash about.

  13. The survey seems fair enough – a few things I would criticise as biased towards ‘support’ for mass immigration in the methods, but the result speaks for itself. I note that it comes from social researchers in Arts – and not the demography department. But I’ll let all that through to the keeper, as it is at least a major improvement on some past efforts…

    One thing that is worth commenting about is in your face in the first para of the conclusions. It betrays the mindset and focus of the author and this is highly revealing:

    “At the time of Federation in 1901, Australia had a specific policy aim to reduce the level of ethnic diversity with Attorney General Alfred Deakin stating in 1901 ‘That end, put in plain and unequivocal terms … means the prohibition of all alien coloured immigration, and more, it means at the earliest time, by reasonable and just means, the deportation or reduction of the number of aliens now in our midst. The two things go hand in hand, and are the necessary complement of a single policy – the policy of securing a ‘white Australia’’.

    By putting this as front and centre in the survey conclusions it seems that the objectives of today’s mass immigration policy is being directly referenced as a counter to an ideology almost 120 years old. It is hard to escape the implications that the merit or justifications of mass immigration is ideologically motivated. Apart from side-stepping the never to be mentioned complex motivations of the WAP that went beyond its clearly racist intent (e.g. to prevent a slave class in the shadow of the American Civil War and banning of slavery and protection of workers rights etc) it reveals that the authors are referencing present day immigration policy to that of 120 years ago.

    This is essentially barking mad. This is the stock in trade for the “useful idiot” who is attaching “racism” to any argument about population.

    Present day population policy (the quantity of people) is not a way to address guilt over history (that had more to do with the selection of people, not quantity). How is it sensible to avoid evidence-based reasons for population policy in the here and now (e.g. environmental, social, democratic, economic arguments etc) and instead reference it to a hated policy and feelings of guilt? How are the sins of the WAP of 120 years ago made up for by ideological myopia based on a “diversity” and “mass immigration” agenda?

    And what the ideologically fixated social researchers at ANU have never told us is what Australia would have been like had it not had the WAP. What for instance would our class system now look like if we’d had an open door policy or embraced the slave trade (black birding) that existed well into the 20th century?

    But this first paragraph tells us all we need to know about the social researchers agenda at ANU. It cannot look past the ideological possession, the WAP and “diversity”. How sad that our grandkids have to have the sins of their fathers visited upon them by the regressive Left imbedded in academia who bang on about racism when the present issues have nothing at all to do with racism. And if “diversity” is the issue, why don’t social workers point to Japan as a racist country that has very low diversity?

    What on earth has the historical guilt of ANU social researchers got to do with whether our population wants mass immigration or not?

    This first paragraph shows that ANU suffer from a diversity problem. For where are the objective researchers arguing the alternative view that mass immigration has more to do with environment. When will we hear about the elite who want cheap labour and a population Ponzi? Where are the researchers not infected by regressive left bias? Are there any non post modernists in ANU Arts who believe in not infecting your research with ideology?

    Or is it all about ideology at ANU where there is no such thing as facts? Is this how Dr Liz got so far in Social Science?

    • Some great points there. A lot of academia at present is poisoned with grievance studies. A lot of gish gash of regressive left (diversity) post modernists pointing at each other and chanting ‘peer reviewed’ and ‘research’. It’s a shame Australia has too many cowards who just blindly repeat the scripts and emotionally manipulative, irrational, shaming, obviously loaded poisoned semantics of othering and hold the opinions and the talking points of the ABC and other legacy media.

      • And that’s why only 70% oppose a bigger Australia. If it weren’t for the racist undertones, it would be closer to 100%.

    • By putting this as front and centre in the survey conclusions it seems that the objectives of today’s mass immigration policy is being directly referenced as a counter to an ideology almost 120 years old. It is hard to escape the implications that the merit or justifications of mass immigration is ideologically motivated.

      Or simply that the writer thinks the “melting pot” approach is preferable to the WAP.

      Makeup and volume are independent variables.

  14. What is interesting is all the comments on the article. I reckon ON is going in for a huge upswing this election.