Here’s a round-up of some recent news items that respond to population pressure relating to immigration.
At the national level, a number of commentators have been observing the increase of investment in Australian real estate by wealthy Chinese. ABC radio’s The World Today discussed this on its 1 November 2013 program, with business reporter, Michael Janda, stating: “Brian Johnson forecasts that Australia is only seeing the beginning of Chinese property investment. Research from CLSA China estimates that more than 10 million wealthy and middle-class Chinese intend to move to Australia over the next decade.”
In Victoria, federal MP Kelvin Thomson has announced that the formation of a new advocacy group, Victoria First, with an open invitation to its launch in the Melbourne suburb of Flemington on 1 December 2013. Two of the aims of this non-government organisation are:
- to halt Melbourne’s rapid population growth
- to achieve a reduction in Australia’s migration programs to the levels of the 1980s and 1990s, i.e. net 70,000 per annum compared with the 190,000 we have now
Victoria First has started to gain media coverage – for example, in the Herald Sun on 3 November 2013.
In a local government area of Victoria, the Mornington Peninsula Shire has declared that it “is not – and does not want to be – a growth municipality”. In its October edition of Peninsula Wide, the Shire reported on community consultation that responds to metropolitan Melbourne’s expected growth from the current population of four million to six million by the early 2030s:
The Shire’s challenge is to continue to be ‘near to but not part of Melbourne and its accelerating growth’. Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Councillor Lynn Bowden said the next 20 – 30 years will be one of the most challenging periods in the history of the Mornington Peninsula.
We expect that many other local government authorities will be consulting with their communities about future planning. Look out for opportunities in your area to have your say, and to advocate reducing immigration.
Each of the above news items shows that the pressures caused by immigration are real and current. The federal government is taking steps to curb illegal arrivals, but needs to address the numbers arriving through the formal programs. We wish Mr Thomson well with the launch of Victoria First, but must question why his new group is pitched only at the Victorian level. Immigration is a national issue and demands a nation-wide response backed by national policies.