Labor immigration extremists go all in on “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:

Many of us have been hoping in vain that a Shorten-led Labor Government would take a more sensible approach and lower Australia’s immigration intake back to sensible historical levels.

Sadly, the opposite is true, with Labor’s shadow immigration minister, Shayne Neumann, committing to a turbo charged intake. From SBS News:

Mr Neumann said that if Labor wins the next election, their government would take the “best advice” on setting the immigration intake level.

“I have said before 190,000 was about right previously. We will get the best advice and set the level accordingly,” the Shadow Immigration Minister said.

“I haven’t seen any evidence that will justify [cutting down the immigration intake], and the Liberals have never provided us with any evidence with relation to that.“

Best advice, hey? You mean from conflicted mass immigration boosters like the ANU’s demography department, the business lobbies, and the CFMEU?

As for the claim that Newman hasn’t “seen any evidence that will justify [cutting down the immigration intake]”, how about the infrastructure bottlenecks piling-up across the major cities, as explicitley noted by Infrastructure Australia’s findings in December:

Infrastructure delivery is struggling to keep pace with rapid population growth and change. Our largest cities are ‘playing catch up’ in delivering infrastructure to support population growth…

Communities are increasingly disappointed by their experience of growth. Communities are understandably resistant to growth when they witness development that is poorly designed and not accompanied by commensurate increases in infrastructure. Community trust in governments to deliver infrastructure and services in growing cities  is diminishing…

Our infrastructure funding mechanisms have not kept pace with growth. There are limitations with the current funding mechanisms for timely delivery of local and state infrastructure. Funding mechanisms lack consistency  and transparency, and vary in their effectiveness as  a means of raising revenue…

While the different levels and arms of Australia’s governments increasingly use common population assumptions, information about the available and potential capacity of infrastructure networks is often fragmented, resulting in uncoordinated decision-making and planning.

So according to Infrastructure Australia’s own admission, our federal system of three levels of government and entrenched vertical fiscal imbalances makes it practically impossible to build enough infrastructure to cope with the projected population deluge brought about by the mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy.

To overcome the structural impediments, Australia will need a new constitution, a new financial system, a new private sector and a new social compact that allows a centrally planned tyrannical system like China’s. Otherwise we’ll be crush-loaded across all public services.

This is the exact outcome predicted in Infrastructure Australia’s February 2017 modelling, which projected that traffic congestion and access to jobs, schools, hospitals and green space will all worsen as Sydney’s and Melbourne’s populations balloon to a projected 7.4 million and 7.3 million people respectively by 2046:

Blind Freddy, but not Labor, can see that the obvious solution to Australia’s intractable infrastructure woes is to cut immigration to levels where infrastructure can keep pace. It’s hardly rocket science.

Moreover, how does Labor propose to fix wages when it continues to flood migrants into the Labor market, and into areas where there are no skills shortages? It can’t.

Finally, for bonafide “evidence” of why immigration should be cut, look no further than the overwhelming majority of recent opinion polls in Australia showing majority support for lowering immigration:

  • 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;
  • 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;
  • ANU: Only three out of 10 Australians believe the nation needs more people.

The sad reality is that under Labor, Australia’s immigration intake will be increased against Australian’s wishes. In addition to raising the non-humanitarian intake back up to 190,000 (from 162,500 in 2018), Labor’s recent national conference also agreed to effectively double Australia’s humanitarian migrant intake from 16,250 currently to 32,000:

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.

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

The phrase “unrepresentative swill” comes to mind.

[email protected]

Unconventional Economist
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  1. I hope labor do not get elected I hate them as much as I hate the Greens and lnp. Even this nose bleed level of immigration will be tested further by them they have no interest in the people that vote. What if everyone did a blank vote in protest what would the outcome be?

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Confusion and probably a ALP or LNP Govie anyway.
      I hope everyone votes Labor in the up and coming State election.
      But not so much in the Federal one,…its the feds who have responsibility for immigration.
      Hopefully the lower immigration parties will have a massive swing towards them to send the majors an undeniable democratic message.

      • Labor is good at the state level but not federally. You are totally right that the public need to get involved more we just shut up and take it.

      • You could paint the message neon and stick it out the front of parliament house, they still aren’t interested in it.

      • How much of a toss do you think those suit n tie types the parliamentary Labor Party give about a smelly grubby plumber or aby other worker for that matter. You need to wake up…

    • I sent a letter to my local labor federal mp months ago his PA basically told me to f off in lovely politician language.

      • My MP actually admitted to the Ponzi saying they needed all the warm bodies to pay for old age pensions,

        These new Australians are special though,

        They drink from the foundation of youth because they will never age .

        Email sent ,

      • And we let in middle aged migrants (as well as the elderly through family reunions), who in the 17 years they contribute tax before getting the aged pension, won’t contribute enough to cover the pension (let alone the pension and healthcare they will need in middle to old age).

        We should be capping the migrant application age at 35.

    • You will all be happy to know our last ALP leader is openly calling for a ‘Big Australia’………

      The Complacent Country

      Finally, and perhaps most controversially, I believe we must aim to build a Big Australia. Neither maximum workforce participation nor productivity growth alone  will generate an economy large enough and a workforce young enough to pay for the country’s future. The ageing of our population is real. The impact on future retirement income, health and aged care costs will be prohibitive. These cannot be wished away. This leaves to one side the future cost of our national defence. For Australia to sustain its future standard of living and meet its future social policy and national security policy needs, we will need a much larger population. That’s why we need to plan effectively for an optimum population size. A big Australia is not incompatible with properly mandated urban planning, infrastructure development and environmental sustainability. Nor is it incompatible with the development of new population centres in the water-rich northern parts of the country. Nor does it prevent mandating new migrants to move to these regions rather than the capital cities to avoid over-crowding. All this is doable. And at a pace and composition of migration flows that maintains social stability on the way through. Of course there will be vigorous reaction to this proposal. There has been in the past. That’s because everybody is running for cover while no-one is answering the core question – that in the absence of continuing significant migration flows, who on earth is going to fund our most fundamental future national needs, from health and aged care, to retirement incomes to national defence in an increasingly unstable region. We run the risk of being a young country which becomes old before its time. These are the seeds of national decline. 

      I think the current government is the worst government in Australia history and they deserve to be roasted on election day.

      But I also think voting ALP is simply vote for what Kevin Rudd has openly called for.

      And that is why I would not vote for them

      • “Neither maximum workforce participation nor productivity growth alone will generate an economy large enough and a workforce young enough to pay for the country’s future. The ageing of our population is real.”

        WTF? The old “We must import people to stop our population ageing while ignoring the fact that the imported population will eventually get old” Ponzi argument?? Does he think we’re stupid??? Oh…wait…

      • Both Gillard and Abbott promised to reduce immigration. I believe they were in the process of doing it, but they did not remain in power long enough for it to have a lasting effect.

      • Not true, yogiman. I remember Gillard saying, “I’m not in favour of a Big Australia,” but did absolutely nothing to lower immigration; in fact, I think immigration increased under her leadership. Tony Abbott called for lower immigration but only after he was no longer Prime Minister. Seems to me that NO Prime Minister has the balls or maybe the power to actually do anything while in office.

  2. They’ve seen the Greens campaign video, and have been inspired.

    The more Head Relocation Engineers this country has, the better off we’ll all be.

  3. The new opposition leader once Sco-Mo is gone will use this and housing/retirement tax ad nauseum…and it will work. An Abbott/Dutton type although they have issues in their electorates first.

    The ALP to be entrenched behind in Newspolls within the first 12 months.

    • Trout à la Crème

      ‘The ALP to be entrenched behind in Newspolls within the first 12 months.’
      This is probably right but it’s not like they care, it’s not like voters have representation it’s just a uni party (but you get your choice in crayon colour) sham with the illusion of choice (like banking/power markets). The politicians are the ‘brokers’ the fall guys that lower (living) standards take the blame and get changed out(with pensions et al).

  4. So we have one party trying not to rock the boat economically and reducing immigration ever so slightly vs the other party who want the housing party to crash while keeping migration high. I would though say that in the long run most people don’t care about house prices as much as they care about the day-to-day. e.g traffic in the streets; whether they get a seat on a train, if they can get treated in time at a hospital, etc. Sounds like a voter divide; ironically high house prices protect you somewhat from the massive influx of migration with population not increasing as much in those suburbs so those inner city voters don’t have migration as their major political issue.

    • House prices are crashing in Sydney and Melbourne. By the time the election comes around they will have gone down considerably. Unemployment will be going up.

      • If Labor enact their housing policies I’m sure it will crash even more or rather there’s a new structural normal in the market. Sucks for people with negative equity.

  5. I give up. Going to sit on my block of land and buckle the hell up for the immigration wave.

    Seriously, someone tell me if halting immigration is even a remote possibility and how this can even occur?

    • Trout à la Crème

      Labor needs to provide evidence of why the intake should have been tripled in the first place.

      • Actually they don’t. If they win the election they get 4 years to do whatever the hell they want. Welcome to representative democracy. Isn’t it awesome.

      • Spot on, bjw. They don’t need to answer to anyone. And the fact is that most people will be glad that at least they are propping up property values with mass immigration, especially with changes to neg gearing etc that will lower prices somewhat. In any case, Labor is not going to be risk being called racist!

  6. Herald Sun editorial today bemoaning the exploited foreigners being crammed into tiny high rises apartments by slum lords.
    Solution: appoint inspectors…

  7. lol labor take their advice and base their decisions on what the LNP tell them …..” I haven’t seen any evidence that will justify [cutting down the immigration intake], and the Liberals have never provided us with any evidence with relation to that.“

    dooooooomed I tells ya, we’re [email protected]@@@@rked mate

    • It’s all the LNP’s fault!!
      Where have I heard that line before ?
      Afraid Lab will look very like Lib

  8. Thanks great article Leith. I think Labor will start to find that the “best advice” is they need to listen to what is becoming a huge national issue and they need to keep their votes, at least for the next Federal election in 3 years.

  9. The major parties are stacked with the people that profit from extreme growth, their funders and donors are all high growth orientated. There will be no change coming from this direction.

    • I was the first on this site to recognise the disgrace that treasonous Labor and Greens are and have been banned at least four times because of it, which I wear like a badge.

      It’s now the default theme.

      I like that.

      The left voter is too kind for their own good. Or is that, too kind for the good of their kids.

      • I will be the first person to say you are deluded and not the first person to highlight the stance The Greens and Labor have on this issue. I win. And its all about the winning champ. Isn’t it? I look forward to your ego laden reply. Can you resist?

    • Labor historically did some great stuff for the environment, and for planning. But more recent incarnations haven’t held the line, they have now become another ‘jobs n growth’ robot. You can see from Rudd’s drivel that economic growth is the god they worship now, they are now just the LNP with some confected empathy.

      (The Greens descent into lefty identity politics is like a fall into madness, the MB guys are right, they need to give the name back)

  10. So lets say the economy tanks and unemployment goes up … meanwhile immigration remains high.
    What then?

    • That might be the only way anything changes. A full economic disaster combined with ongoing mass immigration input… Crossing a threshold of public anger/ pitchfork levels.

      • Unfortunate but what the govt is doing is impacting both the current citizens and the new arrivals. Without anyone to take out their anger on, this increased flooding will cause current established Aussies to blame migrants for their loss of utility. Add in large unemployment, people losing their houses and current Aussies will blame migrants even more. Far right groups will take advantage of it as well.

      • Public anger with unintended consequences … yes.
        Pitchfork level public mobilization? Not a chance in Australia unless things get so bad that at least 20% of the public cannot feed themselves.
        The unintended consequence of public anger?
        Even higher levels of general stress and the health outcomes that this entails.
        More drug and alcohol use.
        More domestic violence, male on female AND female on male.
        Higher levels of mental health issues in the general public.
        We will become the bastard child of the worst that America has to offer.

  11. WhatcouldgowrongMEMBER

    Why do you even need to care what the plebs think when you’re a major political party? You can just import more people. .. people that will be eternally grateful and will vote for you

    • What do you think the motto is in the USA? They want an open border with poor people depending on handouts so that the govt can dangle said handouts and get voted in for eternity. Same model is being applied here, we are being pushed into a communist type system with many dependant poor and a few rich corporations controlling the whole western world. Wait till the next gfc middle Aus will be toast, that’s the plan.

      • Yep. If it’s left much longer we lose the weight of the vote.

        Once we lose the vote, population growth will accelerate with gated communities for the rich.

        Labor used to be our friend protecting us from LNP. Labor is now Australia’s enemy.

      • What do you think the motto is in the USA? They want an open border with poor people depending on handouts so that the govt can dangle said handouts and get voted in for eternity. Same model is being applied here, we are being pushed into a communist type system with many dependant poor and a few rich corporations controlling the whole western world. Wait till the next gfc middle Aus will be toast, that’s the plan.

        (Actually that’s a little harsh. We are certainly heading towards a world where a handful of rich corporations run the place. But that’s not even vaguely related to “communism”.)

  12. As I’ve said for over a decade.

    Labor is our problem. The problem behind all other problems we’ve got.

    Labor have to be destroyed to fix Australia.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        I reckon you can still take it back to the biggest strategic mistake ever made in Australian politics.

        The ALP running the ‘small target’ strategy to try and get Kim Beazley up in the 1998 election, after John Howard had won using that very strategy in 1996. 

        With that mistake they coughed up ownership of the economic reform they had brought about under Hawke/Keating, they coughed up ownership of the vastly improved competitive position of Australian workers, which at that time was delivering meaningful gains for Australian households. They coughed up a very strong defensive position around social welfare and government spending which had been implemented under Hawke/Keating and which was washed away as the Libs ran the refugees/Tampa and then the tax cuts for the aged and all sorts of tory vested interest pork, and while the Education spend was turned into a trough for privatised providers, and when the Public Services were trashed to provide nice privatised windfalls as juicy contracts for ‘service providers’ became the norm, and as CGT was halved and Negative Gearing became the hog wild specufrenzy we know it as until this day.

        Ever since whenever I think of the ALP (and I was a supporter of Hawke/Keating for the most part) I have always thought ‘small target’ (equals small preparedness, equals small political cojones, equals small minded identity politics, equals small interest in Australian workers and small interest in progressive economic reform, and equals small vision of the big picture)

    • Correct. Reforming the ALP, who began the neoliberal orgy of deregulation and privatisation and then passed it to the rabid right of the LNP, is the key issue. Keating (who I once respected) has put his glory days in history books, as the world’s greatest neoliberal treasurer of the 80s, ahead of the need to speak of the damage it finally did.

      Now wedded to mass immigration as the last working bilge pump of the Ponzi economy the ALP will never admit their role in building the house of cards.

      The electorate has picked the ‘least worst’ in successive elections for well over a decade. It is part of the death spiral of policy. None of them have an alternative grand vision for Australia. Expect the ALP to supercharge immigration and the concrete dog box economy and university degree mills. There is nothing else. This is the extent of their collective imagination for what Australia is. This is a ‘service economy’.

      When Bill screws it up (as he will) there is nothing but independents and minor parties to turn to. The LNP has crashed and burned and now ‘It’s Time’ for the ALP to do the same. Only after that apocalypse involving the neoliberal left will we see reform when the next electoral broom goes through the ALP and sweeps them into the bin where they belong.

      • The electorate has rushed between the sides of the boat looking for change. In Qld we wiped out labor, then at the next election wiped out the lnp. It’s possible the next shift is to wipe them both out.

  13. Labor will never cut the net immigration intake, while it consists of more than 80% Third World immigrants.
    A social engineering ideology is being imposed on the people via the nebulous multiculturalism from the Labor side and neo-liberalism ‘open borders’ on the Coalition side
    From ‘Immigration and Consensus’ 1992

    “There had been simmerings of discontent among the general public at the rate of increase in Asian immigration from the time of the Fraser Government. It was known by the “elites” that the general public was not happy with both the composition of the immigration intake and the policy of multiculturalism, but the general public was easy to handle as long as it had no focus and was not organised All the elites, including crucially the great bulk of the media were in agreement that these two issues should not be publicly discussed, or, if discussed, in such a way as to discredit those who questioned them.”

    “We were part of Asia, or so we were told ad nauseam. It was madness to upset Asian countries by questioning Asian immigration. It was also in extremely bad taste given our White Australia background. Therefore, the immigration was unexamined by the media, or, if examined. only in the most superficial terms. The “racist” general public had to be attacked and/or educated. The onus was on the host population to adapt and change to accommodate the newcomers, without question as to what affect these newcomers might be having on the society.”

  14. Ultimately the major parties depend on their Parliamentarians to implement their agenda. You can do your part by putting the major parties and Greens last, also in the Senate, and the sitting member last of all. Except in the safest of safe seats, it might not need that many people to kick him/her off the gravy train. Once the back benchers learn that their party can give them election funding, but not force people to vote for them, they might start to show some backbone, and party discipline will break down. Voting for Sustainable Australia and the other parties that oppose the Population Ponzi first will reinforce the message.

  15. We need a batch of independent Federal senators opposed to a Big Australia (and therefore for better amenity, healthcare, education and productivity).

    Otherwise we need a party called Anti Big Australia Party, or more to the point, Anti Mass Immigration Party. Starting with an ‘A’ it will be at the top of the ballot.

    • We do have Sustainable Aust. but unless they put Population back in their name, theyll be considered another Greenie group by most. The name needs to stand out at the ballot box as one that means lower immigration.

  16. Aging population, yeah right. That’s why the average age of non-Australian born residents is higher than Australian-born residents. That’s why we are letting in middle aged permanent residents, and also elderly parents with family reunion visas.

    Let’s reduce migration numbers, as well as the maximum age migrants can come here. Currently you can apply up to 45, and then it takes 5 years for your application to come through, so you have 50 year old new migrants who then retire onto the aged pension at 67 (with minimal superannuation and tax contributions attributed over that time).

  17. 1.9 million PR & citizen grants in the last decade.
    85% third world. 75% unskilled. Aged, family reunion and spousal fraud rampant, chain migration, our suburbs migrant enclaves, public transport & medical centres swamped full of aged bent sick non English speaking. Low income, low or no tax contribution, cash economy, high unemployment, shocking welfare burden
    Dominant in welfare, health care & fraud.
    85% plus concentration in Sydney & Melbourne.
    890,000 PR in Sydney. 1 in 6 people
    740,000 PR in Melbourne, 1 in 7 people
    290,000 PR elsewhere – in other state capitals
    Source ABS.
    Huge mistake. A burden for decades.
    And we are stuck with them.
    And guess what?
    That’s not the real issue.

    The real issue.
    The Non Resident migrant guestworkers.
    ➡️ 2,458,000 TR migrant guestworkers.
    VisaSure gives you a quick summary & the DHA website tables give you all the details.

    ▪️76% of the TR or three quarter are of third world origin (91% overall plus 254,000 of the 669,000 NZ SCV are of non NZ third world origin). The DHA tables of country of origin show this.
    ▪️Permanent stay (NZ SCV), very long stay (foreign student up to 9 years is not uncommon, long stay skilled, bridging, protection 3-4 years, working holiday years, and so on.

    Basically it’s a pseudo permanent residency with a flourishing trade in fake Identities, borrowed Medicare cards, transport concession & so on.

    ▪️96% plus are unskilled – only a tiny fraction 4% or less than 80,000 in total of the primary Empl Spons & skilled regional) visa holders are even notionally skilled.

    🔹1,261,000 are in Sydney.
    24% of the total population.
    Almost 1 in every 4 people.

    🔹972,000 in Melbourne.
    19% of the total population.
    Almost 1 in every 5 people.

    And 198,000 elsewhere.

    They are poor, at least half work or 1.4 milllion work illegally or in some arrangement, cash in hand, underground, vice. They steal or displace some 1.1 million Australians jobs which is about the same as our Australian & PR unemployed which costs us over $18 billion. That’s a detailed breakdown I have posted before & is a conservative estimate.
    We also have 1.3 million Australians including the new PR seeking work & the TR displace that also.

    ▪️At $49.3k each (Treasury) – sure they ‘add’ a $121 billion migrant guestworker sub economy to Australia’s over GDP – but as its cash in hand, blackmarket / vice / fake ID, ABN Fraud – they pay little or no tax.

    ▪️They lower wages for all Australians by some 5-8% costing tens of billion in spending power and lost taxation & they lower our GDP per Capita by approx 3.7% (wages earning consumption/ if no TR)

    ▪️They consume Australian housing.
    Where do people think they all live? Invariably in ethnic aligned foreign owned ‘private shared accommodation’ being the ABS code for sublet bunk share.
    At say a modest 6 occupants per dwelling they occupy at least 210,000 ex Australian dwellings in Sydney and 162,000 dwellings in Melbourne.
    ➡️10 years established Australian or new modest housing supply – stolen by dirty foreign money washed into Australia residential property to cram house migrant Guestworkers in cash in hand goldmines.

    Now I could add it’s even worse – we also have another 440,000 illegally working Tourists – 5% of the 8.8 million tourists yearly, the majority third world Asian or iDisk on long & repeat stay ‘visiting relatives’ entering to work illegally – being the DHA estimate to parliament.
    But that just upsets people. But that’s another 10% or couple of hundred thousand migrant guestworkers in each city on top of this.
    Basically our border control & visa system is broken.
    We didn’t vote for this.
    No political party said in the last 15 years
    “We want to flood Australia with 2.5 million third world long stay migrant guestworkers – Vote Yes or No”

    Increasing the PR or reducing it to zero is neither here nor there in the numbers or issue impact.

    What does a 20k or 50k cut in the PR do when the TR numbers onshore are now approaching 2.5 million?

    The 2,458,000 TR currently onshore in Australia represent 12.8 years worth of the yearly PR intake at 190,000 a year.

    These TR are unskilled, non contributing and willing participants in visa fraud, paying bribes, queued up by the millions overseas in wanting to enter Australia to work & live illegally.

    When they are here – they destroy Australian / PR jobs, wages, housing. Name one visa category that makes any form of economic or social contribution – none do.
    A large number are on blatantly pretext visas & a large number, up to half are committing visa fraud in working & illegally.
    They create acute congestion, environmental impact, strain our capacity & infrastructure and degrade our standard of living.
    Both major political party continually sideline or detract the public discussion to the ‘PR numbers’ or some minor visa category (backpacker tax, 457 visa charade) all of which are neither here nor there in the big picture.

    2.45 million. The scale of the numbers, fraud, the economic & social damage is shocking.

    It should be the headline topic on every media outlet.
    🔻1 in 4 people in Sydney a migrant guestworker.
    This is a true statement, facts as above.
    🔻A $128 billion migrant guestworker black economy destroying Australian standard of living.
    Again a true statement with facts as given.

    We need a Royal Commission on this.

    That takes it out of the hands of the political parties.
    Neither can be trusted and both are out of synch with community opinion on this.
    A Royal Commission would force top down legislation to fix our borders & visa controls and allow the Australian public to decide who is allowed into Australia and on what basis.
    And that’s what we need right now.

  18. It’s obvious that until we get a UKIP, AfD, Yellow Vests, or M5S/League in Oz our politicians and elites will continue to ignore and insult the wishes of ordinary people.
    At the moment backbenchers earn about 6 times someone on the pension. Maybe if we halved their salary they wouldn’t be so out of touch.