Australia’s national budget for 2014-15 was announced this evening.
In the lead-up period, there was strong advocacy of the need to reduce immigration. Alan Kohler spoke out clearly: “So what’s the problem? Simply that Australia’s population grew by nearly 8,000 people per week last year…” (The Australian, 6 May 2014) and Jenny Goldie did the maths: “We could save $20 billion by bringing immigration back to under 100,000” (The Australian, 8 May 2014).
We are therefore disappointed to find that the Abbott (Coalition) government has utterly failed to embrace the opportunity to reduce immigration and its associated costs.
Australia’s immigration targets for 2014-15 are now revealed in the Department of Immigration and Border Control’s Fact Sheet 20 – Migration Program Planning Levels and are unchanged since early this year: once again, there are 190,000 places in the Migration program and 13,750 places in the Humanitarian program. The total planned intake for the coming year is therefore 203,750.
In opposition in 2010, the Coalition promised to reduce “net overseas migration … to no more than 170,000 per year”. More recently, in 2013, they undertook to “ensure that our non-discriminatory immigration programme helps those in need and serves our national interest”. (See here for the sources of these policy statements.)
Our environmental sustainability, social cohesion and cultural integrity are matters of national interest but they are not well served by high immigration. In fact, as our evolving bibliography of media coverage on this topic shows, Australia’s national interest is threatened by high immigration.
The national interest is what we choose to make it. Tonight’s budget betrays that interest. All who have the opportunity to vote and to influence government policy should share news of the REDUCE IMMIGRATION campaign with their family and friends.