Labor bald faced lies to Australians about housing crisis


There are few bigger morons in Australian politics than immigration minister Andrew Giles.

Over the past year, Giles has boasted about clearing Labor’s made-up “one million visa backlog”.

Labor advertisement on visa 'backlog'

Following the September 2022 Jobs & Skills Summit, Andrew Giles announced that Labor would spend $42 million and employ 600 additional staff to clear the backlog.


In December 2022, Giles posted the below media release boasting that Labor had processed over 4 million visa applications in just seven months, cutting the contrived visa backlog by nearly half:

Andrew Giles media release

By September of 2023, the backlog hadn’t decreased, despite record numbers of visas having been approved. Yet, Giles maintained the same claim, while shedding crocodile tears about the housing crisis he has helped create:

Andrew Giles Tweet

On Friday, Giles conceded that Labor has lost control of immigration, which is literally driving the world’s worst rental crisis:


But instead of admitting that Labor has messed up and promising to curb the migrant intake, Giles instead said that Australia needs more migrants to build homes for the record volumes of migrants that are arriving, while also calling for a considered debate on immigration:

Check out this nonsense published in The Age:

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles says skilled migrants are needed to build new homes, warning Australia must engage in a sober debate on the pressure the surge of overseas arrivals is placing on the housing crisis.


In a marked intervention in the political debate about “big Australia”, Giles said while the population is lower than was forecast before the pandemic, the nation’s mortgagees and renters faced “significant pressure points” in the housing market.

“I think this is a really important debate, but it’s really important that it is carried out in a considered manner,” Giles said in an interview.

“I think the biggest driver for increasing demand and one of the key aspects is, of course, one of the skill shortages that we’re experiencing is the skills we need from migrants to build the houses in Australia.”

“I just think immigration policy is complicated. We have seen in Australia’s recent past some very divisive debates around aspects of migration policy, that have seen real impacts in communities, in the 1980s, and, of course, when Senator Hanson was first elected as a member of the House of Representatives.” Giles said.

Giles himself has said the net overseas migration figure is too high, telling Melbourne’s 3AW radio station it should be in line with budget paper forecasts of 235,000.

The notion that Australia’s population growth is lower that it would have been had the pandemic not occurred is both irrelevant and disingenuous.

Australia’s population growth has already ‘caught-up’ to the historically high trend growth pre-pandemic and will soon surpass it:

Civilian population growth

Moreover, the population growth pre-pandemic was already too high and would see Australia’s population grow above 40 million people in around 40 years – something few Australians actually want.


The notion that Australia needs migrants to build homes for migrants is circular ‘tail wagging the dog’ economics:

Flow diagram

Is it transparently insane to bring in more migrants to fix a housing shortage caused by too many migrants.


Besides, I can’t see too many home builders in the below migrant mix, just loads of students:

Net overseas migration

Moreover, why has Labor carved-out tradies from their fast-track visa program?


Meanwhile, Australia’s rental crisis continues to worsen by the day as Labor floods the nation with people needing housing:

Rental vacancy rate

Source: CoreLogic


Giles’ comments for a “considered” debate about immigration are idiotic. Not least given Labor went into last year’s federal election giving the impression that it would run a lower immigration program if elected:

“His “train locals first” push comes a month after the Labor leader refused to back the government’s plan to bring permanent migration back to 160,000 a year”, The Australian reported in January 2022.


Instead, Labor implemented a swathe of ‘reforms’ aimed at driving immigration to record levels, including:

  • Increasing the allure of student visas by increasing post-study work rights on graduate visas by two years.
  • Spending $42 million and employing 600 people to process visa applications as quickly as possible in order to eliminate the purported “one million visa backlog”.
  • Increasing the annual quota of non-humanitarian permanent migrants from 160,000 to 195,000 (now 193,000) to improve the prospects of temporary migrants obtaining permanent status.
  • Issuing 66,000 “pandemic event visas” – more than the Coalition issued over the actual pandemic – even though the pandemic was over.
  • Removing the caveat that international students must sign that they aren’t seeking permanent residency in Australia as part of the student visa application process.
  • Signing migration agreements with India that allow Indian students and workers to live and work in Australia long-term.

Where was Labor’s consideration that the overwhelming majority of Australians did not want the federal government to reboot migration to pre-pandemic levels, nor the insane volumes currently:

Historical NOM

After giving voters the impression they would do the opposite, Labor opened the immigration floodgates, pushing temporary and permanent migration to all-time highs, creating a gigantic permanent visa ‘backlog’, guaranteeing that net overseas migration will remain at historically high levels, and making Australia’s rental crisis permanent.

Andrew Giles is a lying clown and should be booted from office immediately.

About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.