And it is a very big elephant; the bipartisan target is over 200,000 for 2015/16, about the population of Hobart. Over half will squeeze into the over crowded cities of Sydney and Melbourne. There is a conspiracy of silence about immigration numbers. The Coalition has given it one line in an obscure press release, lack of mention by the ALP means acquiescence. Commentators have not raised the numbers anywhere, including the leaders debate.
Manufacturing consent is a concept popularised by Noam Chomsky. Simply by totalling ignoring one side of a topic the people go along with the other side because of lack of knowledge. This is far more effective than attack. The issue of immigration in this election is a perfect example of how the wishes of the people are being subverted.
The most recent surveys of attitudes to high immigration show the the majority of people think immigration is too high. There was an recent SBS survey (which perhaps did not give SBS the response that they were looking for) http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/mandarin/en/article/2016/05/17/survey-59-think-immigration-levels-last-ten-years-too-high. Late last year Sustainable Population Australia commissioned a survey by Dr Katharine Betts. To the question “Do you think Australia needs more people?’ 38% said Yes, 51% said No. 11% don’t know. https://theaustralianpopulationresearchinstitute.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/spa-survey-2015-final.pdf
The only mention of the immigration target for 2016017 anywhere has been in the website* https://reduceimmigration.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/budget2016-leaves-immigration-targets-open/. They have uncovered that the immigration target is not disclosed in the Budget Papers, but gets a mention in a press release
http://www.minister.border.gov.au/peterdutton/2016/Pages/strengthening-borders-boosting-jobs-growth.aspx. Almost all Is devoted to border protection. The last two paragraphs are:
‘During 2016-17 Australia will continue its generous resettlement, with 13,750 places available in the Humanitarian Program to those most at risk.
Up to 190,000 places will be available for permanent migration in 2016-17. This will include up to 128,550 places for skilled migration, 57,400 for family migration and 565 for migration under the Special Eligibility stream of the managed Migration Program.’
This comes to over 200,000, the same as last year. There is also the one-off 12,000 Syrian refugee quota. Note that all the debate is all about the refugee intake, a very small portion, diverting attention from massive overall intake of immigrants.
There have been some articles pointing out immigration raises the GDP but does little or nothing for GDP per capita. http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/how-population-growth-can-make-us-worse-off-20150704-gi57fx.html. (Ross Gittins). Victoria’s GDP grew 2.5%, but per capita only 0.7%,last financial year, and GDP per capita was negative in the previous two years, http://www.theage.com.au/comment/governments-cannot-keep-using-population-growth-to-inflate-economic-figures-20160412-go4wxz.html (Josh Gordon)
So one must ask the question about high immigration - Cui Bono?#.
The answer is businesses that that depend on increasing volume sales. This includes the media, developers, retailers and so on. MSM plays its part by rarely publishing anything critical of high immigration. Developers hand over large donations to political parties of all persuasions. Other volume dependent businesses add their support. And of course the very vocal multicultural industry. As Tony Jones pointed out in ‘Over time unwelcome changes have been forced on society by self interested groups. (TIA 30/4/17)
‘Modern capitalism craves growth, so we are continually bombarded with the need to continue growing our population…'
After some name changes Sustainable Australia is now campaigning with more emphasis on lower immigration, indeed it is now on their logo.
They are calling for support. Go to http://www.votesustainable.org.au. for a list of Senate candidates. The only other party advocating lower immigration is One Nation.
*The website advocates writing ‘Reduce Immigration’ on a spare space on all your ballot papers. This does not invalidate a ballot paper with the numbers correctly filled in.
#This legal term is used to suggest that the person or people guilty of committing a crime may be found among those who have something to gain, chiefly with an eye toward financial gain. The party that benefits may not always be obvious or may have successfully diverted attention to a scapegoat,