Ross Garnaut joins Big Australia dills

Economist Ross Garnaut is the latest grey beard to demand a quick resumption in “immigration to pre-pandemic levels”:

“No other developed economy of comparable size has benefited as much as Australia from the easy international movement of people – for business, pleasure, education, and to build new lives as migrants.”

Australia has run an extreme immigration program for the past 15 years:

The empirical evidence is damning with:

  • Crush-loading of infrastructure across Australia’s major cities;
  • Historically low wage growth and chronically high labour underutilisation as migrant labour supply always runs ahead of demand;
  • Residents of migrant-stuffed cities being shoe-horned into expensive (and defective) high-rise apartments; and
  • Collapsing productivity from capital shallowing (i.e. a reduction in the capital to labour ratio).

Resuming the mass immigration policy is neither smart nor fair and will only further crush productivity, wages and living standards, as well as increase inequality as capitalists like Harry Triguboff and Gery Harvey privatise the economic rents while the broader public wears the costs.

It is also contrary to Ross Garnaut’s frequent pontifications about reducing Australia’s carbon footprint.

The world has 7.7 billion people. Australia does not need to import them to sell to them. This is not what a smart country does.

Australia needs a productivity-driven recovery that shares the gains. Not a population-based one that destroys what remains of Australiana.

Leith van Onselen
Latest posts by Leith van Onselen (see all)


  1. Leith, I thought you didn’t want a house price crash, because it would hurt too much.

    Well, I don’t know if you can have it both ways. We either maintain a housing shortage (people surplus) or we don’t….

    • surfbeach2536

      Looks like you missed a lot of what Leith has written, he is all about protecting Australia for our kids and grandkids.

      What is happening now is a total sell out and for what, so we can buy a new toaster every year instead of cleaning the old one? Or rip up our open space for more apartments, multi storey schools with no playgrounds. Immigration has passed from the lunatic stage to the suicidal.

      • Spell it out for me. Please.

        You either have migration and support house prices.

        Or don’t have migration and don’t support house prices.

        Which way do you think Leith wants it?

        • NoodlesRomanovMEMBER

          Your memory might be better than mine – I can’t recall an article by any MB contributor that argued for artificial policy support of house prices.

          • Way to take my comments out of context Peachy. So, according to you, being afraid of a full blown housing crash and an economic depression equates to wanting mass immigration.

            You’ve really outdone yourself this time.

          • Well, I dunno, Leith.

            The way I see it, even 30% down from current levels won’t make housing affordable (let alone cheap). So I see that as only a small amount of “medicine” being taken, and I read what you wrote as saying that’s too tall an order….

            The way to prevent a house price decline is to perpetuate the housing shortage. Doing it through high inward migration is only marginally worse than doing it only through choked supply.

    • Display NameMEMBER

      Sensible policy is a house crash away. Everything revolves around the ponzi ATM

    • It is possible for house prices to fall in real rather than nominal terms. The former is possible via higher demand for workers and lower demand for housing. Essentially pre-Globalist Greens policy of the 90s.

  2. As usual, the MSM has allowed the “economists” and financial experts to become epidemiologists and medical scientists and the argument about mass immigration is advanced without a word from ecologists, environmental scientists or anyone with a counter view that does not embrace the growth and globalisation model that enabled Covid-19 to be launched. The MSM has no interest in doing so – neither does the ABC. In the name of free-speech and democracy we will have only the elites who give the approved message with the giant media platform to manufacture consent for something that ever fear want. The stark comparisons with BREXIT and Trump grow. You are STUPID if you don’t want mass immigration. You are RACIST is you argue to protect your culture, amenity, health and security from the champions of a one-eyed GDP monster. You are a MINORITY as the media will not hear your cries or give them time.

    • And the ABC, Guardian et al go on and on about the destruction of the environment, species loss, global warming, soil erosion etc, completely ignoring that all of these are made worse/impossible to rectify by increasing numbers of people and the pressure they put on our cities, farmland and species. Moreover, most immigrants come from countries where their environmental footprint is considerably less than in Australia – that’s why they come to Straya, duh -they don’t come for any other reason than to increase their standard of living, akka to up their environmental footprint.
      As the planet warms and Straya increasingly burns, our rivers dry out, and what’s left of our topsoil blows to NZ, and as our farmers leave their destroyed farms it will not be long before we’ll struggle to feed the population we already have.

      The short-sightedness and irresponsibility is mind boggling. I fear violence will ensue for our kids and grandkids fighting over what little remains.

      • Well put. The MSM has created a means of force feeding a singular narrative that does not have the information needed to promote survival. It is economic propaganda and the ABC can’t apparently see why. Ross Garnaut and his ilk of elites will soon be seen to be the pied pipers of social, cultural and environmental collapse. The madness is as you describe – we take people who consume low levels of energy and resources and turn them into western consumers who contribute disproportionally to the global ecological footprint – then link it globally to supply coal or keep the planes shuttling in masses of people (whilst ‘stopping the boats’). Corvid-19 is just one canary in the global coal mine. The Ross Garnaut’s of Australia are socially respected and lauded, yet objectively they are leading us off a cliff edge that many can now see. Such a game plan has run to its end many times before, yet civilisational collapse was always localised. Now we have globalised the same folly that had the priest class chopping down trees and making statues on Easter Island.

        Our universities, The Greens and the ACTU are symbolic of a decline when even those who pretend to defend against such folly are now major share holders in its progress. I wonder if such fakery has always preceded civilisational collapse?

        • Yes, I’ve often wondered if every civilisation just prior to collapse had a tiny group who quietly urged caution and issued warnings that fell heedlessly on the ears of the majority – the loud, the greedy, the blinkered, the complacent and woke intelligentsia all rushing willy-nilly to the cliff’s edge…
          It also makes one wonder if benign dictatorships may not in the end be better able to avert such catastrophic endings – at least the CCP (tho there’s little that one could call ‘benign’ there) have a 20 year plan and so look more than three years ahead. They can probably see exactly where Straya is headed; hence their scorn and derision.
          Love your imagery of Ross Garnaut as the Pied Piper of Straya leading the willfully-ignorant rag-tag band of fat cat intelligentsia, corrupt and clueless politicians, greedy big business, bought MSM; woke, complacent and self-congratulatory ABC, Wilderness Society, Greens etc, over Australia’s wonderful cliffs…..plunging onto the rocks far below.

  3. LOL
    these lunatics want to get tourists back into our virus virginity during southern winter

  4. This would be the same Ross Garnaut who has positioned Australia as a “zero carbon” “superpower”. To instant and adoring applause from Greens, Fake Labor, and “woke” Australian academics.

    Here, Rudd’s former “climate adviser” is revealed in his true colours. Like any other mainstream economist, all that he really wants is indefinite economic expansion, on what is clearly a non-expansive planet.

  5. Charles MartinMEMBER

    “No other developed economy of comparable size has benefited as much as Australia from the easy international movement of people – for business, pleasure, education, and to build new lives as migrants.”

    Does good ‘ol Ross expand on this with facts and figures, or am I supposed to believe it because Ross Garnaut said it.

    Sorry Ross, but to me, you and the kouk are in the same snake oil salesman category.

    • I guess it shouldn’t surprise us when lazy fat cats who have sucked deeply on the public teat come up with lazy solutions. I could be a Doctor and head of treasury too. All you have to say is import more people, spend more borrowed money, don’t you?

      • WhatcouldgowrongMEMBER

        Apparently it’s all about the 3 p’s – As I remember them they are productivity, population and pestilence.

  6. Untersberg Mountain

    I just think all you anti-migration people are blind to the obvious benefits of immigration for Australia.

    Look at this enterprising fellow, moved here from India 2 years ago, worked in a nursery part time and now provides work for several locals … such as Police Officers, prosecutors, prison guards

    The decision to import this bloke has been nothing but an all out win for Australia!

  7. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Given the hammer is about to come down on Hong Kong expect the migration boosters to go all in calling for the 5 million or so there to be let into Straya
    … Scomo capeable of crying as he announces it ?

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      Nah, it will be the mother of all smirks from SFM that belies his real feelings – property ponzi to the moon and a guarantee of Straya maintaining its title of money laundering capital of the world?

  8. happy valleyMEMBER

    But, but LVO you are putting the boot in to Garnaut, who was a co-author with DL-S of that book The Great Crash of 2008, and presumably still some sort of mate, albeit DL-S now holds diametrically-opposed views to those of Garnaut and both of you rightly so? What legacy does Garnaut want to leave? He wants to sell Straya out like so many other commentators? Ross, give us a break from more vibrancy/wage slavery/market rorting etc etc? Straya has already been so morally bankrupted already, that it’s well beyond the point of retrieval of decency?

  9. seanraceMEMBER

    Doesn’t the buck stop with us all. Each individually for not being actively engaged enough in what’s going on?

    • Ukraine fnMEMBER

      I only wish some how though a comment on a internet site I could pervey my acceptance on what you have just said.

  10. SoCalSurfCreeperMEMBER

    Stop immigration and let house prices fall. 2 birds one stone. On paper Australians are wealthy, but it’s all due to expensive houses. The amount of capital aussies have invested in real, productive assets is pitiful. True wealth will remain low until the house price monster is corrected and investment rebalances towards production. Production of things, production of IP. Even infrastructure as it is conceived in Australia is marginal in most cases. Especially so when it’s about cramming in more people and digging expensive train and road tunnels so they aren’t grid locked. This just lowers standards of living by forcing a ‘tax’ on future generations to pay for it all. Big Australia is a giant ponzi. Infrastructure that contributes to efficient production (gas, electricity, water, ports, freight rail) will build real future wealth.

  11. I can’t remember the exact quote but Tucker Carlson was interviewing a Congressman and said something along the lines of, surveys have shown for decades that a majority of Americans are uncomfortable with the levels of immigration yet those concerns have been ignored by both sides of politics. I have to ask do we even have a democracy?

    I would love to hear this asked to an Australian politician. They pander to every move in the polls but only manage to find a backbone when it comes to shafting ordinary Australians. You have to wonder, why?

    We all know that returning to previous levels of immigration is going to increase wealth discrepancies: the 10%ers will increase their wealth while the rest will get poorer.

    If we can’t cut immigration in the face of this pandemic then we have lost control of our democracy and our futures. It is terrifying.