As we know, Australia’s economy has been sliding in per capita terms since immigration was ramped-up significantly in the mid-2000s:
This is illustrated by the collapse in GDP per capita, which has expanded by an average of only 0.5% per annum over the past decade:
While the COVID-19 recession has obviously weighed down per capita GDP growth, growth was already very weak before the pandemic, growing by less than 1% per annum in the decade to March 2020.
The ABS State Accounts for 2019-20 also shows how the migrant epicentres of NSW and Victoria – which have taken in around two-thirds of the nation’s net overseas migration (NOM) – have accumulated massive trade deficits:
What should be abundantly clear from the above is that NSW and Victoria are parasite economies that are not paying their way in a trade sense – i.e. their exports are not paying for their imports.
The sad reality is that it is Australia’s rural and regional areas that provides us with not only our food, but also the lion’s share of the nation’s export revenue, which is effectively what pays for Australia’s imports (consumed mostly by city dwellers in Sydney and Melbourne!):
Put simply, both NSW’s and VIC’s economies have become highly reliant on the population ponzi/housing bubble, each of which requires the accumulation of more imports and debt, rather than genuine sustainable growth.
Of course, the FIRE, property and retail sectors located in Sydney and Melbourne love this growth model because they made more money from more consumers, while also enjoying a larger pool of labour.
But for the rest of us, the infrastructure deficits in both states, along with congestion, housing and overall liveability worsened each year as more and more people flooded into the city and pushed against bottlenecks amid woeful planning.
Mass immigration-led growth is precisely the wrong kind of economic model that Australia should be facilitating. It places headline growth ahead of improving productivity, sustainability and per capita living standards. And it sucks financial resources from the other states in order to support Melbourne and Sydney’s bulging populations.
Policy makers should use the COVID-19 pandemic to reset Australia’s immigration to the sensible and sustainable levels that existed at the turn of the century.
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