Labor slowly turns the tanker on mass immigration

Over the weekend, federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese finally questioned the efficacy of endlessly flooding the nation with migrants to alleviate purported skills shortages:

Mr Albanese told News Corp “migration has always played an important role in the economy and will continue in the recovery, but it’s important we take this opportunity to get the mix right”.

“After eight years of attacks on training, the Liberals and Nationals are silent on why we’ve got skill shortages at the same time as 2 million Australians who are unemployed or underemployed.

“I also know it shouldn’t be a substitute for training Australian workers for Australian jobs”, he said, adding “we should not be a country where Australian workers are cut off from job opportunities”.

Yesterday, Albanese repeated the dose claiming Labor would focus on skilling-up Australians if it wins the upcoming federal election:

“I’ve never questioned the need for migration, what I say though is we need to make sure that we skill up Australians”…

“We’re not identifying where the jobs are today and the jobs of the future and then training Australians for them”….

Mr Albanese questioned the government’s stance on migration saying the key to creating a more “resilient” economy was creating more skilled Australian workers.

“Common sense tells you that part of making our economy more resilient is skilling up Australians,” he said.

“I don’t want us to compete in the Asian century on the basis of driving wages and conditions down.

“I want us to compete on the basis of skilling Australians up and providing them with training”…

The Opposition Leader admitted that Australian workers need to be provided with opportunities to enter the workforce in skilled work.

“In the resources sector and other sectors of skilled work, they can be good, permanent, high-value, high-wage jobs,” he said.

“Why is it that our first instinct isn’t to provide those opportunities for Australians to get those skills so they can fill those positions?.

“Of course, there will always be a role for temporary migration… But we need to get the balance right of providing Australians with opportunities.”

Former Labor cabinet minister Craig Emerson also penned an article in The AFR questioning big migration (coincidence?):

The Morrison government already has a plan to suppress wages through a resumption of temporary work visas for low-skilled workers in the agricultural, tourism and hospitality industries.

Just to be sure, the Morrison government this year withdrew its own bill to criminalise wage theft…

When the country’s population grows, GDP grows with it, but GDP per person doesn’t necessarily follow.

After the rebound, the economy will likely ease back to its pre-pandemic annual growth rate of around 2.5 per cent – the same as in the 2021 budget forecasts. Since around two-thirds of that pre-pandemic GDP growth was attributable to population growth, the domestic economy had been travelling poorly for about eight years.

Whichever party wins the coming election, a new economic reform program aimed at reviving productivity growth and ensuring the benefits of that growth are shared fairly will be essential.

Craig Emerson and other senior figures within Labor have long argued for more permanent migration in exchange for less temporary migration. So I don’t yet perceive Labor’s position as shifting towards a lower immigration policy, but rather reshuffling the composition of the intake. Labor appears to want to have its cake on immigration, while eating it too.

Nevertheless, recent comments suggest there’s vigorous debate taking place within Labor on immigration policy, which holds hope that it may break the ‘Big Australia’ duopoly. Hopefully it will release a sensible immigration policy statement soon.

Unconventional Economist


    • Heck of a lot easier to train dishwashers, than retrain Albanese, Chalmers or Bowen. Note, Labor is carefully avoiding any direct challenge, to Morrison’s kamikaze migration-flood of 200K in half a year, implies 400K full year. By election time, I fear, the die will be cast. Rizvi and the enthusiastic pro-migration secretariats at ABC and SBS will already be doing victory laps.

      • Yep. No language specifically identifying that too much immigration is the problem. The ALP is trying their very own version of Howard’s “ Stop the boats whilst flying in hundreds of thousands”. More like “ Slow temporary whilst ramping up permanent migration”.

        I think it’s time for everyone to finally admit to themselves that the ALP’s refusal to address the population growth issue is not based on humanity, nor ideology, nor belief that the incoming immigrants are a potential voter base. I think it’s time to acknowledge that the shape and makeup of the current ALP party is by design a controlled opposition who operate within certain parameters or look for another job. There’s never going to be an ALP member who advocates for lowering immigration who’s career rises beyond cleaning the sh1tters.

        • rob barrattMEMBER

          Anyway, the days of publishing a manifesto detailing exactly what a party is going to do if it gets in power are long gone. As for dishwashers, that was my first job. Heathrow airport, 5 pounds a week and you used your hands. More than I’ve seen our road workers doing…

    • About 20% of the time it’d take to train you to do anything right
      (based on the general comprehension you’ve demonstrated on MB over the years).

      • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

        Comprehension is literally alien to the left. They misunderstand pretty much everything unfolding in Australia. You people are the biggest joke there has ever been. We would have fed you to the lions a couple of hundred years ago.

        • “You people”

          Seriously “you people”? You went there?

          The dearth of intelligence is staggering.

          • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

            “You people”, are weak minded idiots willing to give away everyone’s privilege but your own.

            In 30 or 40 years when this ends in civil war, they’ll be coming for you. I hope it ends really badly for your whole family.

            I just despise the modern woke. “You people” elevate yourselves to a position of superior intellect, when in fact you’re missing the entire picture.

            Mark my words, if this continues, there is nothing more certain than a far right Australian government.

    • They prefer the silent auction where nobody knows the result til after the sale has been completed.

  1. Display NameMEMBER

    Just to be sure, the Morrison government this year withdrew its own bill to criminalise wage theft…

    Wage theft, just a cost of doing business…but only when you get caught. Whats not to like about it.

  2. News just in… “politician running to PM says right things to win votes”.

    LVO – how about you run through what LNP said about immigration when they were in opposition, and check out what Labor also said before that and see if you can spot a trend :).

    • if you’re voluntareering for some analysis, how about an assessment of what Pauline says during the pre-election period and then how she actually votes (and what concessions she successfully obtains in response for her vote) ?

      • Not good. But then again you can analyse with absolutely certainty how the Lib, Lab Greens will vote.

    • Yeah, can’t believe a single thing out of the LNP, even when I really want to like with today’s announcement with Moderna that they are going to build a high tech centre in Melb, there past record of announcements & follow though make believing them impossible. Labor are better, but still big question marks on them also as I’m still not clear which group are in control of policy the wokes, greybeards, unions or rank and file like Ermo?

  3. I don’t know, I feel like this is gentle flag raising – this could be genuine – the broader context seems to be let’s train citizens rather than import low skilled workers?There is a wage/jobs context here.

    People need to give Labor a chance, because how else can things change.

    Otherwise: in 12 years time of more LNP and BAU, more hand wringing (even after Labor has gone to each election with messaging as they are this time). “Woe betide, you can’t trust Labor, this is all their fault! The last 25 years is all their fault! They always over promise and under deliver even though the LNP has been at the helm for a quarter of a century”

    • I get what you’re saying, unfortunately for Labor, a vote them is a vote for their comrades as well. Is this true for LNP? Possibly, but their actions to date indicate they are aligning to traditional allies.

    • +1, I agree. They are hopefully starting to get it – they never even discussed immigration other than saying it was wonderful.
      Unless they stuff it up like Shorten’s granny visa they will be going 2nd preference.

      I’m hoping if Indis do well this election – which will hopefully lead to more in future elections and weaken the duopoly.

    • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

      “People need to give Labor a chance, because how else can things change”

      There’s nothing genuine about it, or we’d be talking detail.

      Labor are offering our offspring sht money, sht jobs, competing with migrants, AND HAVING TO GO TO TAFE to do it.

      In addition they’ll ramp up all the other visas against our interests.

      Labor knows they need to offer something here. They know they’re about to lose yet another humiliating election loss.

      Keep them on the ropes until they talk numbers.

      • Talk detail and they get slammed by both the Libs and the left. That is how toxic the immi discussion has become. As someone mentioned before its 400k/year guaranteed with the Libs or the chance of something a bit more sensible with Lab. Still wouldn’t put them 1st pref though.

        • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

          Labor would have to do so so so much to get my vote, and I suspect most Australians feel the same.

          We have a major conundrum Labor created with their dishonesty, lack of allegiance, betrayal of workers and plebs, and cosying up to the extreme nutters in the inner cities.

          I just don’t know how Labor fix this.

          Which is pretty much why I’ve said for a long time, Labor don’t belong in any solution Australia has.

    • On a totally unrelated note, have just spent close to 2 grand on parts for a stew-mac kit guitar. When I get a bit of time I’ll let you know how they are, some pretty interesting components.

      Might even do a build diary.

    • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

      That absolutely and categorically failed in 2010 with Oakshot and Windsor. Mostly went bad because the Greens were there too.

      Any future government can have a mix of Independents, small parties and LNP and be in Australia’s interests, but can absolutely not involve the Greens or Labor..

      We’ve learned that. That’s why Labor have been rejected since.

  4. Totes BeWokeMEMBER

    Until Labor commit to numbers, just assume it’s a scam.

    In fact we already know it’s a scam. It’s all there to be seen in the carefully chosen language used.

    • SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

      we just need to vote labor as another LNP term with scumface is unthinkable, thats whats its come to

      • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

        I’d prefer to break Labor (or force them to commit to numbers (they know they’re again in trouble)), AND, vote against LNP.

        • Yup,

          As trite as it sounds, put Clive Palmer in power for 3 months.

          Not because it’s Clive, that’s perilous in its own right…. but to SPECIFICALLY exclude both the ALP and Libs from power will be the biggest cause for introspection they could ever suffer

          • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

            Yep. Going back and forth LNP to Labor, LNP, Labor is clearly what the problem is.

            It is essential to break one of them.

          • I get wanting to destroy the system but Clive operates out of unbridled self interest

            Clive is the LNP on steroids.

          • “I get wanting to destroy the system but Clive operates out of unbridled self interest
            Clive is the LNP on steroids.”

            OK, but a lot of people get paid when Clive achieves those, it’s not like he’s after Lebensraum. Clive getting what he wants happens to have a history of a lot of other people becoming better off.

            And it’s onyl 3 years.

            What is necessary the the utter feeling of helplessness both the ALP and Libs suffer when they are both in the minority. All the bribes, all the indifference to voter demands, all the two face lying… to get them nowhere.

            It is the demoralisation they suffer, which is worth the pennies Clive will get his hands on.

  5. No, there is vigorous debate on how to position their policy in such a way that it can be marketed as new, while still delivering the old.

    There is currently zero evidence to suggest the ALP would undertake any serious reform, especially given the reform they have previously attempted! You think the same people in the party who successfully agitated for unlimited family visas have just changed their minds? Every legitimate, economically focused point on migration has been shouted down as a dog whistle by the party in question and now they are going to pivot to those points as part of an election platform….? What are they going to do when old Pauline comes out and publicly endorses the policy… lmao.

    I’ll say it again…. if the global progressive darling across the ditched couldn’t / wouldn’t deliver the reform despite it being part of their original election promises then there is close ZERO chance the ALP will do it here.

    • “There is currently zero evidence to suggest the ALP would undertake any serious reform”

      That’s because they don’t hey need it. Many of the rusted ons still think the media cost them the last federal election.

      The ALP thinks the media, and the people need reform, not themselves.

  6. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Good to see some questioning of GDP growth for growths sake ……keep up the good work LVO
    ….the message might seep through to the punters
    ….building apartments might be good for GDP but
    it destroys their neighbourhood …this needs to dawn on them yet

  7. Good luck there Albanese. The Immigration department lost control of the integrity of the skilled migration program as far back as 2006. I can’t see that changing any time soon.

  8. Ailart SuaMEMBER

    “Mr Albanese told News Corp “migration has always played an important role in the economy and will continue in the recovery, but it’s important we take this opportunity to get the mix right”.

    No Albo, forget about getting the ‘mix’ right – what you and your mate Morrison need to get right, is the detailed, long-term population and infrastructure PLAN. To begin with, you need to determine the MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PEOPLE our 80% uninhabitable land mass can support without further degrading both the environment and quality of life for the majority. THAT, is the starting point. From there, the detailed planning begins. It’s not rocket science. WTF kind of leadership goes about endlessly filling up a ferry with passengers without knowing its maximum capacity? WTF kind of leadership operates in the absence of detailed plans, period?

    Of course, I’m just wasting my time laying it on governments and oppositions to do that. I should be asking their elite, donor ‘cash-cows’ what their population plan for Australia is. How many Meriton, multi-story dog-boxes could you fit in Centennial Park?

    • Absolutely. 100% correct. Albo flatters himself.

      Don’t bother voting for any of the majors. In my view, don’t bother with the SAP either. The only way out of this is to have independents hold the balance of power. The main issue is the corruption of the democratic process via both the purchase of influence and ideological capture that makes the 2-party system totally anti-democratic (its the same disease as in the UK and USA).

      The solution is to get a core of independents with high integrity (Left or Right – it matters not) who will represent the people in their electorate (not a party). We need at least 5 more – but the more the merrier.

      The trick is to build an urban-rural alliance based upon common values and take on the Australian metropolitan elite running the show. This will deliver a death blow to the business model used by the ALP and LNP.

      It can be done – and has to be done. The main issue is that Australian political discourse and social media is a knitting circle of people who [email protected] on endlessly and mostly have good intentions, but no capacity to put trivia and self interest behind them and engage in what will be a brutal political fight for the soul of the country.

      There is a mechanism to coordinate this, but it is only viable when enough people are prepared to work with people they don’t like (and are told not to like due to ideological impurity). Such political and identity snobbery has split this nation into loads of waring tribes formed over minority issues that the MSM feeds upon.

      • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

        Fantastic Clive.

        I’m also with you on Sustainable Australia. They’re not interested.

        Independents are the only future for Australia.

        I love that so many Australians are seeing what LNP and Labor are.

        I’m interested in helping anyone destroy the Labor party.

        Anyone need help in any seat? I’ll help. Busy work, whatever. I’ll even travel on election day.

        Totesbewoke at gmail

    • I reckon a half decent ABC journalist would ask this. Can Leigh Sailes find some spine and ask for some details from both parties and the Greens on our future population with actual Fuqing numbers? I doubt it. ABC scum.

  9. “Craig Emerson and other senior figures within Labor have long argued for more permanent migration in exchange for less temporary migration. ”

    Yes, and this is worse. In means, long-term, more competition against Australians for work, more pressure on housing, and more costs looking after such workers when they age.
    It is a dumb policy on steroids, it makes Labor totally non-genuine when it comes to the interests of working Australians.
    They have a value far higher than looking after working Australian > REPLACING working Australians.
    It is evil. They are evil. Seriously misguided.

    • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

      More permanent migrants mean more Labor voters, and more Labor voters want more immigration and that’s more Labor voters, and more permanent migrants mean more Labor voters etc etc etc.

      Labor are counter to the interests of Australia, Australians, plebs, workers, our offspring, the environment etc etc.