What do candidates in #Griffithvotes think about immigration?

The Reduce Immigration team recently contacted each of the candidates in the Griffith by-election to seek their views on Australia’s immigration numbers.

We let them know that we advocate a reduction in Australia’s overall immigration intake and are not opposed to all immigration, but believe that high immigration adversely affects our environmental sustainability, social cohesion and cultural integrity. Then we invited them to respond to these questions:

  1. What are your views on immigration numbers?
  2. Will you help promote the “REDUCE IMMIGRATION” write-on campaign during the lead-up to the by-election?
  3. Do you have any comments, suggestions or requests relating to these matters?

Of the 11 candidates, we received no response from five and a mixture of unenlightening and guarded responses from the remaining six. To read the detail, click HERE.

It’s unfortunate that, this time around, voters in Griffith who are concerned about immigration don’t have any candidate to support – as far as we know! But all Griffith voters can use their ballot paper on 8 February 2014 to send the REDUCE IMMIGRATION message to Canberra on polling day.

Let us know if you find this survey report helpful.

The Australian ballot – a great tradition, thanks to #AustraliaDay 1788

The innovative “Australian ballot” system was a world-first, introduced by British colonial governments in Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia in 1856, and adopted later by the other colonies, the federated Australia, and many other nations world-wide. The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes this as a “system of voting in which voters mark their choices in privacy on uniform ballots printed and distributed by the government or designate their choices by some other secret means.”

It’s appropriate on Australia Day to celebrate the traditions of government brought to our continent by British settlers from 1788, and to consider participating in the democratic processes that are currently available to us through our paper-based secret ballot system (probably to be wiped away by electronic voting, sooner or later). Here are some suggestions for action you can take this year:

  • Help promote REDUCE IMMIGRATION. Our printable flyers include a bookmark and a leaflet. Forward, print and distribute these as widely as you can to raise awareness of the campaign to write the REDUCE IMMIGRATION slogan in the blank space at the top of ballot papers.
  • Keep up to date on information about the REDUCE IMMIGRATION campaign. Stay in contact with the news we post to our website by typing your email address in the “Follow” box at the lower right corner of your screen.  You can also follow us on Twitter and re-tweet our posts.

Happy Australia Day!

 


Further reading (added 27 August 2016):

Geoffrey Blainey, ‘After the gold rush, the colonial cradle of democracy’The Australian, 27 August 2016, pp. 20-21. (“19th-century Australian led the way in giving the vote to the people”.)

Fresh voices against a Big Australia

The increasing pressures from high immigration on Australia’s population and infrastructure  – present and future  – are being recognised across the country.

Yesterday, Brisbane’s Courier Mail revealed a plan by the Queensland and Australian governments to decentralise the settlement of immigrants (Newman and Abbott governments plan for immigrants and refugees to be sent to regional Queensland towns, 20 January 2014).

The article claimed that, “under the Queensland Plan, the Government wants 50 per cent of the population to live outside the southeast corner by 2034, meaning the regions would have to cater for another 2.3 million people”.

A photograph accompanying the story shows a family of migrants from the UK enjoying the beach at Cairns. They expressed concern about future “overcrowding”.

On the same page of the Courier Mail website is a short video comment by demographer Bernard Salt who observes, “the Big Australia scenario just got bigger”. The video actually seems to have been filmed last November, when the Australian Bureau of Statistics launched its latest Population Projections for Australia. Salt suggests that the public might not be happy with the statisticians’ prediction of 240,000 overseas migrants per year.

Today’s letters column in the Courier Mail engages forcefully with the issue of regional overpopulation. One writer, David Haselgrove, wisely notes:

All coastal regions are just like the main cities. They are being swamped by population growth now. An influx of new immigrants, many of whom would have foreign values and special needs, will only make things worse.

It would be much more logical to cut immigration from the current 200,000 plus a year to around 70,000.

This would balance immigration with emigration, which would mean that immigration did not add to population growth. Cutting immigration to a net zero would be popular politically.

Meanwhile, in Victoria, federal MP Kelvin Thomson has challenged the rapid urban expansion that is “spilling over into agricultural land” (Land available for Melbourne’s growth but MP warns on fast expansionHerald Sun, 21 January 2014). He observed that “growth was too rapid for the capacity of infrastructure and was fuelling higher council rates, electricity, gas and water charges”.

Thomson has also criticised the Liberal Government’s proposed solution to the currently unsustainable level of welfare spending as “a mean spirited attack on the poor”. A post on Thomson’s blog today suggests that there are “fairer and more appropriate ways of reducing the $70 billion welfare budget”, including by lifting Australia’s workforce participation rate:

The latest figures show our participation rate has fallen to 64.6%, the lowest level since 2006. We have over 720,000 Australians out of work, and over 820,000 Australians receiving the Disability Support Pension. Why, then, are we running such massive permanent and temporary migrant worker programs? Over one million temporary visa holders have work rights in Australia. We need to cap and reduce the migrant worker programs and give job opportunities and job security to Australians who are presently out of work.  (21 January 2014; 3.34pm)

Last week, correspondents to The Australian made similar observations, suggesting that we need to “train our own workers before imports”.

We congratulate everyone who is speaking up on behalf of reduced immigration. We also urge Australian voters in the electorate of Griffith to use their by-election on 8 February to send an urgent message to Canberra by writing REDUCE IMMIGRATION in the blank space at the top of their ballot papers.

By-elections in Queensland offer new write-on opportunities

The resignations of Kevin Rudd from the federal electorate of Griffith and of Scott Driscoll from the Queensland state electorate of Redcliffe mean that some people in Brisbane will soon have the opportunity to write the REDUCE IMMIGRATION slogan on their by-election ballot papers.

The Brisbane Times suggests that both by-elections could be held on 1 February 2014, although this date is yet to be confirmed.

We encourage everyone involved in these forthcoming contests to promote the REDUCE IMMIGRATION write-on campaign. Involvement is easy – see the simple instructions on our “How to” web-page.

We also note that the Australian Electoral Commission confirmed in September 2013 that writing slogans in the blank sections of ballot papers does not invalidate a vote.