The Kouk: Perrottet’s 2 million migrants plan “horribly misguided”

Stephen Koukoulas (“The Kouk”) has done a terrific job tearing apart NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s plan to import 2 million migrants into Australia over five years, describing it as “horribly misguided”:

To be frank, the proposal is a lazy, irresponsible and a horribly misguided recommendation that deserves to be shot down before significant damage is done.

It is a proposal that has obviously not been thought through given such a scheme would crush the wages growth, and add massively to congestion especially in the cities including Sydney.

It would underpin a surge in demand for housing, add to pressure on already stretched infrastructure and speed up environmental degradation.

What’s more, high immigration does nothing to enhance productivity, tackle the existing problems with the skill and education levels of the existing pool of unemployed and underemployed. Nor does it address the pressures on an already hot housing market.

Think about this for a moment.

The fabulous city of Perth has a population of just over 2 million people. Think of all the houses, roads, schools, shops, offices, hospitals in Perth, all of which are supplied with water, electricity, sewerage and other services.

At one level, the 2 million immigrant proposal would mean that a city the size of Perth would need to be built in just five years to make sure there are no additional pressures on existing services if the living standards of Australians are not to be compromised.

This is not possible…

When there are close to 2 million Australians either unemployed or underemployed who are currently finding it difficult to get a job, an extra 2 million people to compete with will not only be difficult for those at the margin of the labour market, but it will skew wages growth lower…

Australia needs ‘sensible’ immigration. Here’s what that looks like…

In total, an annual figure around 100,000 would seem sensible, as it would not blow up existing infrastructure and the housing sector would be well placed to meet the demand from the new arrivals, with solid levels of new construction over the medium term.

This would see the 2 million target for immigration achieved over 20 years or so, a timeframe that would not impose major dislocations on housing, infrastructure and the environment, to name a few…

Australians love and embrace immigration, but only in moderation…

A slow reopening of borders is undoubtedly the best approach to immigration and the political party that embraces low immigration levels will likely be on a winner.

Terrific stuff Kouk. Correct on every level. Hopefully you will have a word in the ear of your contacts in the Labor Party and lobby them to run on a sustainable immigration platform.

Remember, a Newspoll survey in 2019 revealed that 80% of NSW residents do not believe the state should grow any larger:

Yesterday’s survey by The Australian Population Research Institute (APRI) also revealed that 70% of Australians want lower levels of immigration post-pandemic (of which 48% want significantly lower or zero immigration):

The overwhelming majority (69%) also do not believe that Australia needs more people:

Labor would storm into office at both the state and federal levels if it adopted a lower, sustainable immigration platform post pandemic along the lines proposed by you.

Unconventional Economist
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Comments

  1. Well, wonders will never cease. Mr Kouk seems to have had some sort of Road to Damascus revelation.

    Sadly, he might have the ear of his mates in the ALP, but the big end of town has them by the balls and wallets.

  2. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Was talking to a new arrival of a year or so (,our taxi driver ) couple of years ago. He was of the opinion that there wss far too much immigration here.

    • An Indian Uber driver a few years ago was the victim of a great piece of foreign idiot driving and then complained bitterly that the country was full of immigrants who can’t drive.

  3. I’m not against immigration at all. Only the population ponzi.
    In fact I support bringing in migrants to replace every single employee at the ABC.
    Every. Single. One.
    Tomorrow if possible.

    Wait Ian Verrender can stay.

  4. Dahls ChickensMEMBER

    I suspect the Perrottet administration doesn’t expect to bring in 2 million migrants. What they’ll be doing is anchoring public expectations at that level. Then, when NSW “only” accepts 1 or 1.5 million migrants over the next five years, Perrottet will be able to say: “Well, we listened to feedback from voters…” It will still be an insane number of people, but they’ll be able to spin it as acting responsibly. Of course, that won’t save them if the Warragamba dam runs dry in the meantime!

  5. Jumping jack flash

    It depends on which lobby our glorious leaders decide to listen to.

    At the moment they’re listening to the business lobby who are misguided in their thinking that asking for, receiving and employing millions of low-paid migrants is somehow going to net them additional customers.

    Where are the consumers going to come from to buy these companies’ imported products, and utilise their services if nobody is being paid enough to be able to?

    This question becomes far more relevant as we stare at the enormous global price inflation wave that’s just about to crash into us. An inflation wave that was created precisely to solve the problem of stagnant wages in a [global] debt economy that can’t create extra debt capacity from lowering interest rates any more.

    An inflation wave that was meant to be mitigated by creating and distributing unprecedented amounts of stimulus and handing it to people to spend on the higher prices. It seems to be working in other countries, but not ours. Oh no. We have the best leaders here, we have all the switched on leaders here, who know how the things they’re meant to be in control of work.

    • I don’t think it is that. They see shortages in IT staff, teaching, nursing, and other currently required professions that the plebs typically work in (not the blue bloods particuarly in Sydney) and don’t like that. They want to double migration and keep their money worth more. That’s it.

  6. In relation to polling, the current poll in the news.com article below shows 80% support for either the long-term average of 80,000/annum (27%) or “Very little or no immigration” (53%).
    https://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/dominic-perrottet-says-he-believes-in-a-big-nsw-after-top-bureaucrats-call-for-two-million-migrant-surge/news-story/90a9b57daec72c8235bc078b32c5e731

    As Kouk alludes to, while most Australians support immigration (the benefits are indisputable) we’ve definitely suffered ‘too much of a good thing’ in recent decades.

    • Even StevenMEMBER

      I basically agree, but the benefits are NOT indisputable. I think someone could mount a pretty fair argument that zero net immigration could be a good thing.

      On balance, I don’t think I’d agree with such a person (I support modest immigration intake) but it’s far from indisputable.

  7. Perrottet is rapidly turning into the greatest threat to (existing) Australian’s living standards.
    Massive immigration coupled with the decimation of virus risk management.
    What next? climate change denialism?

    • Perrettot is letting the power run away with his mouth.
      reckon he either learns to pull his head in or he will not be leader at the next election.

      • Yes when LVO or DLS asked last week what we in NSW thought of Perrotett I didn’t really know enough about him, I liked that he supported land tax, but now he’s definitely lost any chance of my support.

  8. As an immigrant & supporter of immigration I say “well done The Kouk!”

    What the idiot high immigration left fails to appreciate is that when immigration is too high (this level varies depending on many factors) it causes social friction which can easily lead to racism, “popular” movements and the rise of extremist politics all of which will likely negatively affect immigrants! (not to mention environment etc)

  9. To have a good migration program you really have to start with what it means to be Australian. I love the passion of the European, US and Asian cultures which will defend their cultural identity and the expectations it brings. Australia had this and then we lost it because we thought it was racist to have an opinion.

    There should be no immigration on migrants terms. We should welcome migrants if its clear they will benefit Australia’s citizens with clear expectations around what is allowed/not allowed.

    Conversational english should be a minimum for all migrants, including the elderly family members who will use public services. This is a great test of how much someone actually wants to be here.
    No work without an independent benchmark of needs and pay grades on par or above industry average.
    Employer is on the hook if visa conditions are breached.
    No student work rights, if you are here to study, then study. Educators are on the hook if students breach this.
    No rights to purchase new or existing housing unless you are a citizen.
    To become a citizen you should revoke passports from other countries, none of this hedging your bets rubbish as people with options will always use those options when times get tough. If you want to be Australian, be all in or come in on a temp visa with the risk it could be revoked.
    Targeted recruitment of migrants in high areas of skill and demand. We need more of the migrants that run silicon valley start ups/advanced manufacturing and less of those that deliver meals on motorbikes.

    • Australia had this and then we lost it because we thought it was racist to have an opinion.

      Nothing to do with faux racism accusations.

      Everything to do with a top-down shift in national culture away from generosity and trust to selfishness and suspicion.

      Lots of people still fervently defend what they believe it means to be Australian. The problem, of course, is that they have different ideas of what it means to be Australian, and dismiss each other.

      There should be no immigration on migrants terms. We should welcome migrants if its clear they will benefit Australia’s citizens with clear expectations around what is allowed/not allowed.

      Worth pointing out that your demands on migrants are all dramatically stricter (there’s that selfishness and suspicion) than they were during Australia’s previous – now considered very successful – waves of immigration.

      Targeted recruitment of migrants in high areas of skill and demand. We need more of the migrants that run silicon valley start ups/advanced manufacturing and less of those that deliver meals on motorbikes.

      You’re very unlikely to attract these types if you demand they throw away connections to their homelands.

      • Even StevenMEMBER

        Demand they throw away their ‘connections’ to their homeland? You mean their original citizenship in order to become an Australian citizen?

        I am fervently opposed to dual citizenship. Next step is then tri citizenship, quad citizenship and then global citizenship. Either have citizenship or don’t. I don’t believe in being a little bit pregnant.

        I agree everyone will have a different view of what ‘Australian’ means. But there’s probably some key principles / common values which would resonate:
        Fairness
        Free speech
        Community spirit

        Unfortunately we haven’t been doing too well on some of these and yes, I think excessively high levels of immigration is partly to blame. In practice, very difficult to select immigrants on these criteria. But a willingness to learn English, to enter the workforce and pay taxes and adopt citizenship of this country would surely be some good indicators.

        We’ve turned immigration (and being Australian) into a transaction through our education system and priority of finding cheap workers. This is not the way.

        • I am fervently opposed to dual citizenship. Next step is then tri citizenship, quad citizenship and then global citizenship.

          Many Australians with immigrant parents, grandparents or even further back are eligible for, if not already holding, three or more citizenships. Historically, lots of English immigrants would consider themselves as much a citizen of the Empire, as Australian (assuming they even considered the latter at all). My dad ended up as a Nasho and he wasn’t even a naturalised citizen.

          They’re not the problem. They’re not even _a_ problem.

          I agree everyone will have a different view of what ‘Australian’ means. But there’s probably some key principles / common values which would resonate:
          Fairness
          Free speech
          Community spirit

          This is just rephrasing the same issue. For example, I would argue anyone who has voted for pretty much any right-leaning party has already demonstrated their lack of concern for both “Fairness” and “Community Spirit” (and probably “Free speech” as well).

          In practice, very difficult to select immigrants on these criteria.

          It’s not the immigrants that are in power and fvcking the country, mate, it’s the born-and-bred natives, and generally the ones who have long Australian lineages (or claim to be the real representatives of “Australian values”). If anything, immigrants are *more* likely to hold those values, since they’re seeking them out rather than inheriting them through dumb luck.

      • You are too soft Smithy. Show me countries which have as much generosity to migrants as Australia. We have become a soft target, comforted by your rising wealth with no actual work through house prices. On paper you are a millionaire but you didn’t earn it. You have lost your centricity to Australia for fear that by calling out migration for what it is that you somehow risk offending those who could make you rich.

        The French don’t apologise for being French, nor the Chinese or Japanese. We might argue what it means to be Australian but I will tell you one thing for free, I have more right to decide what that looks like then a non citizen migrant from another land who wants the best of Australia, as long as it looks, smells and feels like their real home with none of the sacrifices. Give up your language and passport, at least then I know you are genuine.

        It’s really not much of an ask and much less than many other nations demand.

        • Show me countries which have as much generosity to migrants as Australia.

          France.

          You have lost your centricity to Australia for fear that by calling out migration for what it is that you somehow risk offending those who could make you rich.

          LOL. I’ve spent plenty of time criticising Australia’s immigration policies.

          Your problem isn’t with immigration policy, it’s with immigrants.

          It’s really not much of an ask and much less than many other nations demand.

          France doesn’t.

          Neither do most of the other countries you’d want to live in, for that matter. Maybe ponder why that might be for a while.

    • Absolute BeachMEMBER

      Agreed. !00%. Add in requirement of demonstrated minimum PAYG income in first 5 years- $100,000 or so. Otherwise VISA revoked

    • Lord DudleyMEMBER

      “We need more of the migrants that run silicon valley start ups/advanced manufacturing”…

      … Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Pull the other one! No-one who is capable of doing an advanced startup is going to move to Australia. Australia is MASSIVELY anti-tech, and the government has repeatedly made it clear that the tech sector is an enemy of the state.

      You’re China’s quarry. You exist to produce resources that other countries turn into goods. Your hope of moving into advanced manufacturing, design, or tech is a joke. No-one innovative stays in Australia.

      Also, you’re all paid too much, considering you’re basically a nation of useless eaters. If most of you disappeared, it would make no difference to the resource extraction.

      Considering how dumb, mean spirited, and greedy the average Australian is, I think the plan to flood the country with millions of people from third world country is a very good one. It’ll push your wages down to the level they should be, while providing more opportunity for hard working third-world immigrants.

  10. Isn’t it just possible that Perrotet is just triggering the conversations we all know we have to have?
    What better way to do it than inflaming the topics.
    It’s not about ‘what he wants’ or ”what he believes’ but ‘what he wants to happen’ = debate.

    • My guess as well – it undermines Treasury’s monopoly on discussion, as such a ridiculous figure will inevitably invite public comment.

      The Great Numbers Debate is then flushed out from shadowy hallways and into the sunlight of the public arena, where it will get a thumbs down by the crowds.

  11. Stephen Koukoulas (“The Kouk”) seems to parallel my comments (with fact check & link below) on the 2 big lies

    Lie #1 Australia has a skills shortage.
    Lie #2 The Temp visa migrants went back.
    Lies now being propagated by the big Australia lobbyists & mainstream media.

    So to restate : here as a detailed rebuttal & fact check .

    Let’s examine the 2 big lies being currently promoted across the media.

    1. There is a skill shortage. Nope. Jobs reduced, real unemployment & underemployment is very high.
    And will continue to be in the near & mid term.

    2. The (TR/SCV) migrants went back. Nope. The key categories of non Australian long stay visa categories who are the main culprits in Australian job & housing theft has remained much the same.
    Still here. In fact creating additional pressure on (reduced) Australian jobs & adding to housing affordability pressure.

    Firstly tho, an aside.
    Fake vaccination certificates (electronic & paper including mygov details which don’t require Medicare as the TR generally cant get that) are now $40 in Lakemba.
    In very high demand by the migrants.

    Why? – they need vaccination certification to match what is often a number of falsified identities they use to live & work illegally. Including working in health care, wholesale & retail, transport & so on. Others also reject vaccination on ideological grounds, or believe the vaccine is a western plot to sterilise them.
    So – short of police & health authority identity verification & antibody tests… (as China & another countries are now starting to mandate) we will continue to have a huge migrant unvaccinated underworld in Sydney & Melbourne acting as a virus incubation & transmission vector to Australians.
    -/-

    Back to the big questions being answered here.

    •Is there a skills shortage?
    •Is there record low employment?
    •Is there a surge in new jobs?
    It appears not.

    How many non Australian third world temporary migrants are still onshore?
    •Did their numbers really decline?
    Now focus here on the long stay ‘semi permanent long term stay categories’ who are the main category in stealing Australian jobs & housing.
    It also appears no, they didn’t.
    They are still here.

    And now these migrant guestworkers onshore are a major barrier to Australians being able to be employed (less jobs) or having affordable housing etc.

    Lie number #1. ‘Australian skills shortage’ so we need more migrants & a media barrage of misinformation that ‘Australia is now denuded of migrant guestworkers leading to labor & skills shortages’

    The ABS says Unemployment is only 4.1%.
    We all know that’s a fabricated lie.
    Roy Morgan says that 8.7% of Australians are unemployed. More than double the ABS.
    October 03 2021 Finding No. 8812
    https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/8812-roy-morgan-unemployment-september-2021-202110030834

    The latest Roy Morgan data shows 1.27 million Australians unemployed in September 2021 for an unemployment rate of 8.7%, with under-employment of 8.0% (1.16 million).
    Total unemployed or underemployed is 2.43 million or 16.6% non employed.

    More importantly the Australian Workforce jobs are only 14.57 million, below pre-lockdown level in June 2021.
    So the first big lie is exposed.
    We have 172,000 less jobs than before & we have more (nearly 9%) unemployed!

    Given a residual of say half a million unemployed who just won’t or can’t work – that still leaves about 2 million Australians / PR unemployed or underemployed.

    And with less jobs & record unemployment.

    Yet we have nearly 2 million non Australian third world migrants onshore on pretext visas. Overshoot from pre virus times.

    We have a ‘one for one situation’
    One third world migrant on a pretext visa onshore living & working illegally stealing an Australian job & housing for every one Australian unemployed or underemployed.

    The media lie we have a shortage of migrant guestworkers needs to be exposed.
    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Lie number #2
    ‘The migrants went back’.

    The temporary resident numbers overall – particularly the categories of those who are long stay Temporary visas has not declined.
    They didn’t go back. They used the virus, border closures, didn’t attend classes, increased their illegal work hours & then visa churn to stay in Australia.

    The so called foreign student & partner intake is now fragmented across a number of visa categories or they have churned onto protection and other visa categories.

    But they are still here in Australia- living & working illegally. See the category detail.

    The only real decline in TR migrants was of about 600,000 in ‘long stay & repeat visitors’ then offset by huge surge in churn onto protection & other visas.

    Fact / detail. Link
    https://scanloninstitute.org.au/migrationdashboard#part-one
    Comparative numbers.

    Dec 2019 to September 2021.

    🔹SCV was 668,687 now 672,659 -3,972
    Much the same number but if masks the continuing trend of aged genuine NZ born returning back to NZ offset by a huge increase & majority of SCV grants to non NZ Asians & Indians to use NZ as an entry point into Australia.

    🔹Students was 480,543 now 377,785 -102,668
    This hides the real number being closer to 580,000 who are now on ‘other visa categories’ as well as partners & so on on secondary visas, or DFAT & other non DHA categories. The majority are doing very los level nonsense courses (or none at all using covid campus shutdown as an excuse).
    Progression rate for a foreign student into a professional high income vocation in their home country or Australia if given a PR?
    3.7%. That’s right 96% of all foreign students in Australia fail to become anything useful. (Migrant Pathways A Decade On report 2015 / Productivity Commission). Remaining unskilled, in their non assimilated migrant enclaves with their fake / cheated or useless ‘certificates & diplomas’ that lack any international accreditation, remaining in the foreign criminal run cash economy or if given a PR joining the Centrelink queue for welfare.

    🔹Skilled was 119,160, now 104,333 -14,827
    Always marginal & a marginal reduction.
    We don’t have a skilled intake. Over 2 million of the non Australian migrants are on an unskilled visa category. Most of the skilled are not skilled either, usually on a cash back deal by the employer with falsified skills by the migrant (aka Gladys/Darryl)

    🔹Visitors was 635,109, now is 28,741 -606,368
    Here is the biggest reduction, the Chinese, south East Asians & Indians coming in on long stay or repeat stay visitor visas to live & work illegally. Or in ‘Medicare tourism’ (all those bus loads of elderly Chinese & Indians) to avail themselves of Australian Medicare & then PBS drugs to fund their trip using a borrowed or frauded Medicare identity.

    🔹Bridging was 119,655, now 359,981 so +240,326. Up nearly quarter of a million.
    Exploding as their visas expire or they churn onto this racket to extend their stay.

    🔹’Other’ 300,143 210,796 -89,347
    Still a huge number 210,000 made up of a splendid array of niche visa categories – all corrupted.

    And in the 2020 total we can add Temp visa now granted PR to join the conga line for welfare (167,432 grants so +167,432)
    I haven’t added overstayers (+70,000) or DFAT & scholarship/ trade visa bribes & gifting but that’s another (+35,000) or +105,000 in addition.

    Totals (offical DHA visa categories- doesn’t include DFAT or overstayers)
    Dec 2019 2,203,543
    Oct 2021 1,921,727
    Actual reduction onshore -281,816

    And almost of that in the 600,000 plus reduction of illegal working ‘long & repeat stay visitor’ category.
    Other visa categories stayed much the same or went up.

    Cross check.
    Temporary visa holders ABS/DHA tables
    Non Australians on TR / SCV – doesn’t include long & repeat stay ‘visitors’ as the Scanlon website does.
    Use data.gov.au & access the link for temporary-visa-holders-in-australia-at-2021-08-31-v100 as reference.

  12. Lord DudleyMEMBER

    Given that Australians are super happy to put kids in concentration camps forever, I don’t see why the well-being of Australians should be prioritized by the powers that be at all. The right thing for the powers that be to do is buy as much land as possible, and flood the country with new immigrants, who might have a chance of being marginally less awful than the existing population. In any case, this policy will also drive down standards of living, which are much too high in Australia right now given that the nation essentially has no real human capital, and beyond mining and agriculture, no capabilities or competencies.

    What are Australians actually for? If most of them disappeared tomorrow it would make no difference to anything that matters. The people who run the country know this very well.