Berejiklian puts foreign students, skilled migrants ahead of Aussies

NSW Premier Berejiklian announced over the weekend that she wants to use one third of the state’s 3,000 hotel quarantine places to bring in international students and skilled migrants:

In an interview with The Sun-Herald, Ms Berejiklian said she wants NSW to use a third of its hotel quarantine slots to take in international students, skilled migrants and specialist workers needed by businesses – about 1000 people a week, ideally starting in January.

She said NSW was not in a position to increase its quarantine capacity above 3000 a week, so other states should “lift their game” and quarantine more Australians returning from overseas.

“NSW would like to look at things that boost our economy … not just returning Aussies,” she said. “We would like to start that as soon as we can in the new year but obviously that’s up to the federal government to let us do that.”

Gladys Berejiklian is right to push other states (not to mention the federal government) to take more returning Aussies into hotel quarantine. NSW has, after all, taken 56% of international arrivals since the pandemic began.

Nevertheless, no international student or ‘skilled’ migrant should be imported into Australia until all citizens and permanent residents have been returned. According to the latest National Cabinet Meeting, there were around 36,000 Australians waiting in the queue to return home. They must be given priority. Otherwise, what is the point of being Australian if a foreign non-resident receives better access to the country than you?

Berejiklian should also be cognisant of the fact that NSW residents do not want more immigration. This was made clear in last year’s Newspoll survey, which showed that 80% of voters do not want the state’s population to increase, with majority support across all three major political parties:

Finally, importing international students and migrant workers into NSW when the state’s labour underutilisation is so high would be an unmitigated disaster for the working class. It would reduce workers’ bargaining power, increase unemployment, crush wage growth, and lift rents (other things equal).

But why should any of that matter when Gladys Berejiklian’s first priority is her developer mates:

Premier Gladys Berejiklian moved the Greater Sydney Commission under her control against the advice of a key departmental boss two months after a secret lobbying push by a group including big business and developers.

A group of prominent Sydney identities wrote a confidential letter to the Premier in March 2018 urging her to seize ministerial control of the commission, which then fell under the Department of Planning…

The letter was penned in the same month the Greater Sydney Commission released a report that was unpopular with developers because it recommended industrial land be protected from being rezoned for high-rise residential purposes…

Ms Berejiklian delivered her verdict in June 2018, opting to take control of the commission.

When foreign nationals and developers carry more weight than ordinary Australians, you know your entire political system has been corrupted.

Unconventional Economist
Latest posts by Unconventional Economist (see all)


  1. Glady is doing Scomo’s bidding . She will only be protected while she does due to all the “revelations ” that have been brought out about her and her government.
    She is now wedged .

    • Might make a few CFMEU types angry, not necessary a bad thing. I will support anything that may upset the status quo even if it might appear counter at first view.

    • I don’t think Gladys has much time left, Mark Latham was right, every month she hangs on, brings another of her party under investigation. The ICAC investigation in industrial land at Camellia may blow up in her face, bring the connection between her party and Parramatta property developer mafia and their paid lobby groups into the open, it will have federal implications as the LP, big developers etc are so intertwined

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      DL-S’s Gladys The Grub and Scotty The Impaler descriptions tell you everything you need to know?

  2. Young Australian Women returning on @qatarairways are gonna get clucked with complimentary Sexual Assaults at Doha Airport,

    Modern Aircraft

    Medieval Mindset

  3. On face value prioritising foreigners over Australian citizens for flights home makes no sense at all.
    Especially as the limiting factor right now is the number of places in properly run quarantine facilities.
    It’s so nuts, I have to wonder if the report is missing something? Hard to believe NSW Premier is that tone-deaf.

  4. I don’t quite understand the subtext of her message. Do returning Australian citizens not benefit the country economically? Are they economically void in some way? If they’re expats returning, they don’t rent or buy houses? Not own or buy cars and pay rego, get their car serviced, heaven foribid actually drive the fcking thing and require fuel to go in the tank? If they were successful os do they not put their kids into private schools and therefore assist the top end of town segment of the education system which is experiencing a bit of a drop in enrollments? If they were unlucky short/medium term travelers who got stuck os do they not have jobs to go back to and economic lives to pick up (cos ya know they actually had money to go os in the first place)? And finally, do they not eat food???? Are they that dreaded creature that no one dares to speak the name of: homo economicus nullis?

    Can someone help me out here? I’m obviously having some cognitive impairment issues and need some educating on reality.

      • Honestly I was just gobsmacked by the utter stupidity of her comment “we would like to look at things that boost the NSW economy… not just returning Aussies” I mean FFS sake does she understand nothing? I now have absolutely no respect whatsoever for her and will only listen to her to criticise. That is just so monumentally fcking dumb I can’t comprehend it. As a Victorian I haven’t paid much attention to her but just omg

        • Her corruption and incompetence’s (Ruby Princess etc) is getting aired for political purposes aka Scomo is in the driving seat and what he want’s he get’s.
          As someone else suggested she is struggling to hold onto her position and re her comments about getting students in she is throwing the kitchen sink (and some) to stay afloat.

          • happy valleyMEMBER

            And that national anthem wording smokescreen was a diversionary non-event.

            Unfortunately, with a 75% punter satisfaction rating (notwithstanding all the grubby LNP deeds on her watch – you can fool/con most of the people most of the time), she believes she is untouchable?

        • Gladys understands everything…that’s why she prioritises students & furr ners over returning expats with Wyatt skin

    • They don’t line the pocket of million dollar university chancellors and prop up the developers by increasing demand for dog boxes. Geezus, how blind can you be not to be able to absolutely point the finger straight at the corruption at play here? /sarc

    • Returning citizens tend not to be in the market for dog box developments, they don’t pay full market rates for a fake degree and nor do they wish to work slave hours at salve rates to pay for either of those.

      Those 3 factors are all that matters to the business interest that ‘have the premiers ear’. I think we have a tendency to overcomplicate things, keep it simple, who has the biggest influence on your everyday political decisions? Once you resign to the idea that it’s not voters then understanding the rest is quite straight forward.

    • “Can someone help me out here? I’m obviously having some cognitive impairment issues and need some educating on reality?”

      The LNP and ALP are rent seeking parties in the pay of vested interests.

      1) Foreign ‘students’ generally need to rent immediately. Returning Australian citizens have more options and can generally live with family members until they’re settled.

      2) Foreign ‘students’ need to to work from day one and can be easily exploited. Australian citizens know their statutory rights and demand appropriate pay.

    • Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

      Yeah I’ve seen quite a few expats come back to Perth, buy an expensive house, cars and enrol the kids in private schools. They would be having 100 times the effect of some internationals coming to study (work) and send remittances home.

  5. Why is Premier Gladywrap wanting the students now ?
    The academic year is ending and the next year doesn’t begin until february.
    Plenty of time to bring Aussies home first.
    The plague is raging in the northern hemisphere with the USA having 1 million new cases in the past 6 days.

  6. What is wrong with their state of the art online courses?
    Don’t have to be in Australia to do the course any more.

  7. and it begins… those wonderful Expat Aussies stuck overseas could only hold back the immigration ponzi tsunami for so long…


  8. Gladys also said NO to home quarantine for international students and only 1000 a week. That is peanuts. Tiny numbers.
    The OS student industry is dead on those numbers.

  9. Yes ALL Aussies home first before any foreigners, and then it should be only students who can pay without working here and the so called skilled immigrants should only be by special sign off from the Minster of Immigration as most simply are NOT needed wtih unemployment/underemployment let alone the fact most of them are not highly skilled.

  10. Jacinda shows her true colours once again. NZ is now giving full welfare benefits to temporary migrants and international students. So no incentive for them to leave the country, but to bludge off taxpayers for years. No need to work either – why would you when you can now get welfare.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      Oh man, your country is farkt! No one should get welfare especially imports. This tax leakage would be better off going into boosting the housing industry.

  11. We’ve seen tertiary education become something of a farce in this country as the universities cram as many overseas students as possible into their institutions blatantly ignoring the need for basic communication skills and knowingly facilitating a means whereby eligibility for PR and citizenship can be seen as the true objective.

    We’ve seen wage growth almost stagnate and opportunities for skill development for Aussies diminish as we open the floodgates to permanent and temporary workers to fill needs that in many cases simply don’t exist but are conveniently manufactured as a means of keeping wage costs down.

    Glad is just doing what federal governments have been getting away with for years and there’s little that can be done about it because both major parties have long since kowtowed to the demands of special interest groups and embraced those actions as part of their long term budgetary strategies.

    • That’s why we need to scrap political donations. It’s souring the focus of politicians.

      Given each party enough to do basic advertising during a campaign.

  12. The picture is quite simple, and degrading.
    ‘foreign non-residents’ aren’t people, so much as breathing export $$. Returning Australians are merely consumer$, so are less valuable widgets in the economic scheme of enriching business people.
    See ?