#Budget2018 – Band-aids won’t help #AusPol fix a continuing #BigAustralia

The Australian Budget, announced on 8 May 2018, makes no change to the planned level of permanent immigration.

Here’s the official statement by the Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, about this larger component of Australia’s immigration program:

In 2018-19, the portfolio will maintain 2017-18 levels (up to 190,000 places)

A number of visa categories within the program seem designed to incentivise migration to regional areas.

The other component is the humanitarian program. This appears to be unchanged as well (i.e. 16,250 places per annum),  because the Ministerial Statement does not mention any alteration:

The portfolio supports humanitarian settlement in regional Australia by working with the Department of Social Services, local and state government, community groups and service providers.

The Big Australia agenda underpinning these continuingly high levels of immigration is clear in the Ministerial Statement:

Australia’s migration program continues to support Australia’s growth—stimulating economic growth, addressing skills shortages, and contributing to diversity and multiculturalism.

Several commentators overnight have pointed out that the Budget is simply a band-aid for the adverse effects of high immigration on our environmental and economic sustainability, social cohesion and cultural integrity.

Here are some examples:

Terry McCrann, ‘Budget a good fiscal and political balance’, Herald Sun, 8 May 2018:

[Any long-term budget surplus] pivots on our high immigration-strong population growth dynamic, provided, crucially, there are jobs to be got.

Andrew Bolt, ‘Many Budget winners, but Liberals aren’t among them’, Herald Sun, 8 May 2018:

[The budget is] all paid for by a cash windfall, massive immigration and a gamble that the economy will improve faster than many economists predict.

Judith Sloan, ‘Budget 2018: optimistic forecasts crowd out an immigration fix’, The Australian, 9 May 2018:

Clearly the “wets” in the cabinet (and that is most of them) couldn’t bring themselves to reach the obvious conclusion that the migrant intake is excessive and is causing all sorts of problems, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney. The fact that there are a number of entirely inadequate and disruptive “congestion busting” measures contained in the budget indicates that the government knows the perceived, rapid loss of urban amenity is an issue in the electorate.

Peta Credlin, ‘Turnbull’s left turn pushes Shorten to extremes’, The Australian, 9 May 2018:

… the new $1bn Urban Congestion Fund … is a missed opportunity to open up a debate on Australia’s rate of immigration, one of the highest in the developed world.

Instead, Turnbull will use the fund to tell fed-up city dwellers that everything is OK when it’s clear that the majority of Australians, in poll after poll, want a population plan for the future.

In our pre-Budget post about the apparent increase in awareness about immigration, we documented some of the polls to which Credlin refers.

Now that it’s clear that the government won’t listen to published advice on the importance of reducing immigration, and intends only to patch things up with band-aids, it’s up to all of us to spread the message as best we can.

We recommend writing REDUCE IMMIGRATION in the clear blank space at the top of your ballot papers, whenever you have the opportunity to vote.

Go to our How To page for further details, and check out the FAQ page if you have any questions.

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Will tonight’s #Budget2018 help #ReduceImmigration for Australia?

What limits, if any, will the 2018-19 Australian budget set for our immigration targets?

Speculation commenced in March (see Greg Sheridan in The Weekend Australian on 29 March, p. 12) that the announcement tonight (8 May) will feature a small reduction. Media coverage in April also suggested that Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton may have been ultimately successful in subduing the immigration numbers ever so slightly as a nod to mounting public opinion:

Judith Sloan‘s comment this morning (The Australian, 8 May 2018) conveys a pragmatic reminder:

I will be looking to see whether the government takes the sensible course and reduces the planned number of permanent migrants, presently 190,000 a year. Last year I had to search high and low even to find out what the government’s plans were. They had been intentionally hidden because it was such a big call for the government to sustain such an intake.

We presume that Dutton is hoping to salvage some votes and public credibility to buffer the Turnbull Coalition government’s chances at the next Federal election (2019?), and to build favour in his own electorate of Dickson. It seems, however, that he will probably have been unsuccessful in persuading his cabinet colleagues about the merits of genuinely reducing immigration, relying instead on:

  • a reinterpretation of 190,000 permanent immigrants from a ‘target’ to a ‘cap’, and
  • a continuing sleight-of-hand relating to the temporary workers and students whose visas set them on an easy path to permanent status.

In the current and long-term absence of an argued policy statement to guide Australia’s planning and decision-making about immigration, we are forced to rely on figures released as part of the annual budget. We await tonight’s budget for confirmation of the situation for 2018-19, and plan to post the details as soon as we can.

Debate about Australia’s immigration policy goes back a long way, and overlaps with discussion about population policy. Click HERE to read our interpretation of the history of this debate.

Ritualised xenophilia takes over #AustraliaDay

The lead-up to Australia Day 2017 has seen the annual, new-normal recrudescence of largely taxpayer-funded slights to traditional and still predominantly white Australia. These insults take the form of incessant, omnipresent urging for more acceptance of multiculturalism / diversity, and the encouragement of high rates of immigration from source countries that are both culturally very different to traditional Australia and are also proving problematic.

Most of these slights are organised and orchestrated by renegade, self-loathing, predominantly white Australians among the appointed elites of government, media and elsewhere. We don’t have the time, the energy, or the stomach to report these in detail, but we can note that a moment of sanity occurred earlier this month when widespread public outrage caused an advertiser to take down a billboard that promoted Australia Day via an image of two Muslim girls wearing hijabs. This ripple in the pond was quickly settled by the elites’ crowd-funding efforts to reinstate the advertisement. Suffice it to say, the lunatics still run the asylum.

The take-over and degradation of Australia Day by the proponents of multiculturalism, diversity and high immigration has continued apace in recent decades. An overwhelming number of Government and  taxpayer-funded administrative propagandist appointees (whether as award-winners, partners, sponsors or ambassadors), state by state and nationally, are connected with the national broadcasters (the ABC and SBS), the Immigration Department, the multicultural-diversity industry, big business, the Big Australia lobby, and so on – as mentioned by Andrew Bolt last November.

Let’s reflect on some aspects of this take-over, and why the well spread and well paid, ever watching, politically correct forces have felt the need to do so.

In 1984, Australia’s pre-eminent historian Professor Geoffrey Blainey comprehensively nailed the problem. His book All for Australia surveyed the scope and costs of our immigration program, noting the directly-imported racial, ethnic and socio-cultural issues even though he didn’t dwell as much as we do today on the environmental impacts, i.e. high population growth rates are ultimately unsustainable on the world’s oldest, driest and least fertile land mass (except for Antarctica).

In The Australian of 9 March 1995, Professor Blainey wrote: ‘The prostitution of Australian citizenship took place under Bob Hawke. To read the parliamentary debates is to look in vain for any mention of what is in the interests of Australia as a whole’.

On 11 October 2000, Australia’s longest serving Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock admitted: ‘Many public policy decisions resonate over decades. Indeed, the effect of some only becomes apparent years after they have been taken’. After having been paid handsomely in Federal Parliament for over 40 years to foster, knowingly, the harmful public policies of long-term mass immigration and multiculturalism, Ruddock is now raking in from taxpayers an extra $300,000 p.a. as ‘our’ inaugural roving ‘Human Rights Envoy’. This is on top of a huge swag of superannuation entitlements for retiring from Parliament, or ‘getting out of the way’. Remember him crossing the floor against John Howard’s mild August 1988 ‘slow down Asian immigration’ comments? (Ruddock has cumulatively been paid millions over many years for helping governments to do irreparable damage to Australia, so why would anyone in their right mind think giving him this latest sinecure is a good idea?)

Today, 26 January 2017…

… watch the now ritual TV reports and footage from Australia Day citizenship ceremonies around the country – and weep.

… watch the predictable results of recent years’ subcontracting-out of the whole Australia Day farce to the elites – and

… observe the ABC’s increasingly heavy handed and proprietorial attitude to p.c. promotions of all things Australia Day, and feel your skin creep at what has become ritualized xenophilia at the expense of traditional Australia.

The REDUCE IMMIGRATION write-on idea is still being steadfastly ignored by the elites and mainstream media, but it remains the only avenue we can all use in the same way on the same day to politicise the same huge cluster issue. In just two words, safely but surely, the REDUCE IMMIGRATION idea can be conveyed as a message written by voters on their ballot papers.

You may well ask why public figures and organisations that understand the negative impacts on Australia of high immigration have failed to embrace the REDUCE IMMIGRATION campaign.

Australia Day 2017 is a good time to contact folk such as Dick Smith, Andrew Bolt, Bob Carr and Kelvin Thomson, and organisations such as the Sustainable Australia Party, the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Greens, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation et al. Please ask them to endorse the non-partisan REDUCE IMMIGRATION write-on idea, or to explain their unwillingness to do so.

If you get an answer from any of them, please let us know!

 

Postscript (added 24 February 2017)

Ours was not the only voice speaking out against the ritualised xenophilia of Australia Day this year. Here are a couple of articles that we’ve seen; let us know about any others that you’ve found.

Greg Sheridan, ‘If Australia Day is illegitimate, so are we’The Australian, 2 February 2017.

Sherry Sufi, ‘Australia Day lamb ad more divisive than inclusive’, Perth Now, 20 January 2017.

A bigger #Australia? – It should be up to us, not them

Hot on the heels of the Productivity Commission’s recent report, Migrant Intake into Australia, comes another study.

This time it’s from the long-time pro-higher-immigration Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA).

CEDA claims to have been ‘influential on immigration issues since 1963’ – and, unfortunately, it has been. Its recommendations in 1985 included the creation of a Bureau of Immigration Research and the implementation of a points system for skilled migration, both of which came about.

CEDA’s latest report, Migration: the economic debate, was released on 3 November 2016. The related media release announces that ‘Australia could absorb a greater migration intake’. CEDA’s modelling suggests that, if their recommendations for changes to the migration mix and numbers were followed, this ‘would allow net migration to rise to 400,000 by 2054. This compares with an earlier peak of 300,000 in 2008–09’ (Migration: the economic debate, page 96).

Peter Crone, chief economist for Coles and occasional adviser to CEDA, recently told a retailers’ conference that ‘the ace up our [i.e. Australia’s] sleeve is population growth which needs to be supported by government spending on infrastructure’ (Australian Financial Review, 29 September 2016, page 10).

We are therefore somewhat relieved that the foreword to CEDA’s report acknowledges that ‘concern over migration both domestically and internationally has been increasing’. We also note that the research has prompted some major caveats on their conclusions in favour of a bigger Australia: ‘this [increase] could only be done in conjunction with complementary policy that addresses adverse consequences of population growth such as infrastructure provision, urban congestion and environmental degradation’.

Such weasel-words have, however, been ineffectual previously. We hold no hope that the present government will address these vital issues in any more constructive a way than it has done in the past, despite Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi saying last week that Australia needs to halve its immigration intake.

As readers of this website will know, we oppose an ever-bigger Australia and we advocate a substantial lowering of net overseas immigration.

Meanwhile, here is a little good news from Melbourne, currently struggling with a population of 4.5 million people that’s growing at the rate of over 2% per annum. At the grassroots level, a meeting was held on 2 November to organise campaigns against a huge apartment block of 16 stories in North Fitzroy, an inner suburb where one- and two-storey 19th century buildings predominate. Chris Goodman, president of the 3068 Group (a local residents association), told the large gathering of concerned locals: ‘An important point to keep in mind when considering these things is that we are told Melbourne is heading for a population of ten million, and we haven’t been asked about this.’ To hear this big-picture statement at the outset of Goodman’s address was like a breath of fresh air, compared to the usual paranoia and reticence to speak frankly about this topic at such meetings.

Given that our government consistently fails to ask us about population targets and immigration policy, we remind readers of our ongoing campaign to encourage all voters in Australia to write REDUCE IMMIGRATION in the blank space atop ballot papers in local, state and federal elections and by-elections.


 

Note:

Commentary on the release of CEDA’s report comes from a range of voices. Here we list the coverage of which we are aware:

Thursday 3 November 2016

Jackson Gothe-Snape, Too many backpackers: new report calls for cap on working holidaymakers’, SBS News Radio

Jackson Gothe-Snape & Peggy Giakoumelos ‘Ethnic community council condemns prospect of guest workers’, SBS News Radio

Hamish Macdonald, ‘CEDA report urges rethink of Australia’s immigration policy’,  ABC Radio National – Breakfast

The Drum, ABC TV

Leith van Onselen, ‘CEDA turns population ponzi booster’Macrobusiness

Matt Wade, ‘Boost the migration intake but relieve population pressures on big cities: CEDA report’Sydney Morning Herald

Friday 4 November 2016

Government blind to public opinion on Australia’s migrant intake

Here are the top three of ten ‘key points’ found on page 2 of the Productivity Commission’s recent report, Migrant Intake into Australia.

  • Immigration policy has enduring effects on many dimensions of Australian life. Getting the policy settings right is critical to maximising community wellbeing.
  • The current immigration system has generally served the interests of the broader community well. The key question is whether current policy settings are set to deliver the best outcomes for the Australian community over the longer term.
  • Australia’s immigration policy is its de facto population policy. Decisions about immigration policy should be made within a broad context and explicitly take into account the associated economic, social and environmental impacts, including the differential impacts on state, territory and local governments. Community values and perspectives should inform the policy.

We welcome the report and agree that all ten points summarise the present situation concisely.

We are not, however, starry-eyed about any of the major political parties in Australia making substantive changes to the immigration programs – despite recent polls indicating that they should…

  • Essential Media Communications sampled popular opinion on the question ‘Would you support or oppose a ban on Muslim immigration to Australia?’ Their poll of 1000 Australians (reported on 21 September 2016)  showed 49% support for a ban, and 40% opposition.

The respondents to the Essential Media poll gave their reasons for supporting a ban as: They do not integrate into Australian society (41%); Terrorist threat (27%); and They do not share our values (22%).

Last June, our submission to the Productivity Commission made three comments relevant to the question of Muslim immigration:

  • ‘The wish to preserve one’s identity and the identity of one’s community and nation requires no justification, any more than the wish to have one’s own children and continue one’s family though them needs to be justified or rationalised.’
  • ‘In recent decades, the ethnic, racial and cultural shift in Australia’s demography has been dramatic. We recommend rebalancing the mix in favour of people of European descent.’
  • We also referred to research by Harvard University political scientist Robert Putnam who has shown that social cohesion and integration is all-important for the well-being of both immigrants and the host community. We said: ‘Unfortunately, social cohesion is eroding as racial / ethnic gang violence, and individual terrorism events, erupt in our larger cities.’

As described in the Liberal Democrats Party submission to the Productivity Commission, ‘Senator David Leyonhjelm initially sought the Migrant Intake inquiry as part of negotiations over contentious immigration legislation’, with a particular focus on economic policy.

Fortunately, the Productivity Commission’s brief extends beyond economics to include social and environmental issues affecting the welfare of Australians. ‘Its role, expressed most simply, is to help governments make better policies, in the long term interest of the Australian community. Its processes and outputs are open to public scrutiny and are driven by concern for the wellbeing of the community as a whole’ (Migrant Intake, p. ii). For this inquiry, the Commission was ‘given an opportunity to examine the entire immigration system to identify possible improvements’ (p. 50).

We encourage our readers to read the full set of findings from the inquiry, and the associated recommendations (pp. 37-47).

By and large, the recommendations seem reasonable. They provide a basis for the Government to run the immigration system better. Although the Productivity Commission did not recommend a reduction in the number of immigrants, its report is more cautious than previous government reports since 1988 (*).

At 731 pages, this latest Migrant Intake report is deeper and more considered than the Labor government’s 88 page Sustainable Australia – Sustainable Communities: A Sustainable Population Strategy for Australia (2011) which was meant to put us all at ease with regard to the threats of Big Australia but in fact lacked any strategy for implementation. But the Productivity Commission has failed to address head-on the fact that 70 per cent of Australians are opposed to a bigger Australia.

We note the Turnbull government’s early and partial response to one of the Productivity Commission’s recommendations, #13.8, concerning parent visa applicants. A new scheme for 5-year visas is now being planned, and submissions are invited on a number of questions raised in a Discussion Paper (published 23 September 2016; closing date for submissions 31 October).

We thank the Productivity Commission for its public service in conducting the inquiry. It’s better than nothing, but immigration still needs to be reduced – and the Commission should have said so!

Bipartisan non-discriminatory policies relating to immigration and multiculturalism have tied government hands for decades and are in urgent need of review – not only in respect of Muslim migrants, but also those from Asia and the sub-continent. (New readers should visit our posts from January 2015 on some lowlights from 2014  and cultural genocide.)

 

Postscript:

Our attention has been drawn to research findings that reflect further concern in Australia about the impact of Muslim immigrants on social cohesion. Here is some of the coverage (27 September 2016) of that research:

Marry a Muslim? Six out of ten Australians ‘concerned’ (University of New South Wales)

Education the key to fighting Islamophobia: Deakin researchers (Deakin University)

New national snapshot finds 60 per cent of Australians would be concerned if a relative married a Muslim (The Age)

 

(*) Footnote:

Over recent decades our Federal Governments (not to mention State Governments) and their agencies / statutory authorities have produced dozens of studies, reports and recommendations on Immigration, Population, Sustainability, and Multiculturalism policy for various purposes and with differing emphases.

We think the two best and most comprehensive studies of the last 25 years were produced by the House of Representatives Standing Committee for Long Term Strategies, chaired by Barry Jones (Australia’s Population ‘Carrying Capacity’: One nation – two ecologies, 1994) and by CSIRO (Future Dilemmas: Options to 2050 for Australia’s Population, Technology, Resources and Environment, 2002).

We provide links to these and other reports on our page, Historic information about immigration policy.

 

Where is #reduceimmigration in 2016 election debate? #AUSPOL #AUSVOTES

Congratulations to the British people who exercised their democratic right to express their discontent with continuing membership of the EU. While each individual will have had their own reasons for voting to Leave, it appears that mass immigration and its consequences has been a strong motivating force behind the Brexit result.

Here in Australia, the major parties contesting the federal election on 2 July 2016 have declined invitations to debate one of the biggest policy issues facing our collective future: immigration. (See: Federal election 2016: Coalition, Labor back away from health, immigration debates)

Despite this lack of engagement, we do have fresh opportunities to communicate concern about our current high levels of immigration.

This website was started to support two independent candidates (in Flinders, Victoria) who promoted the REDUCE IMMIGRATION write-on concept at the 2013 federal election.

Now, we are happy to see the Sustainable Australia party campaigning with its new ‘Lower Immigration’ logo. They are fielding candidates for the Senate (in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria) and for the House of Representatives (in Sydney). We encourage people in those electorates to consider supporting Sustainable Australia.

Wherever you live, and whomever you choose to vote for in the federal election on 2 July, it’s easy to add the words REDUCE IMMIGRATION in the blank space at the top of your ballot papers. For guidance, see our How to and FAQ pages.

The REDUCE IMMIGRATION write-on campaign continues! See here for recent media coverage, and visit our Select Bibliography for articles that provide a range of reasons to reduce immigration.

Please share this information with as many Australian voters as you can, in the lead-up to polling day on 2 July. Don’t forget your family, friends, colleagues, Facebook groups and other social media!

Postscript (added 28 June 2016)

A guide to party policies relating to immigration, based on a survey process, has been prepared by Sustainable Population Australia in advance of this federal election and makes interesting reading for all who care about Australia’s future.

#Budget2016 leaves #immigration targets open

This post was updated on 4 May 2016 – see the section inserted at the foot of this article.


Australia’s national budget for 2016-17 was announced this evening (3 May 2016). It claims to present an ‘economic plan’ for Australia’s future. For all the sloganeering about ‘jobs and growth’, however, the Government has failed to deliver full clarity about the size of the population that will help deliver this plan.

Net overseas migration contributes more people annually to Australia’s population than does natural increase (through births). One would therefore expect the Government to pay close attention to the size of its two immigration programs.

The Humanitarian Program targets are clear. As announced last May, 2016-17 will be the final year of a four year run of 13,750 places p.a., supplemented by the extra 12,000 places announced last September to resettle people displaced by conflicts in Syria and lraq. Future increases that were announced last year have been confirmed tonight: Australia can expect 16,250 places in 2017-18 and 18,750 places in 2018-19. But the Key Performance Indicators from last year have been scrapped, and a new Purpose for the program has been unveiled: ‘Manage the movement and stay of people to ensure a cohesive society’.

Source: Portfolio Budget Statement, p. 47,
Department of Immigration and Border Protection, 3 May 2016.

Mystery surrounds the future size of the Migration Program as reported in the Portfolio Budget Statement. In this current year (2015-16), the target has been 190,000. For coming years, however, the targets are not specified. Instead of firm figures, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is coy and opaque:

Purposes [of the program]:
Manage the movement and stay of people to ensure a cohesive society.
Manage the movement of people and goods to ensure a strong economy.

Performance criterion: Australia’s visa programs provide a strong foundation for social cohesion.
Target: The non-skilled component of the managed migration program is delivered within planning levels set by the Government for each category.

Performance criterion: Australia’s visa programs are responsive to the needs of the economy.
Targets: The skilled component of the managed migration program is delivered within planning levels set by the Government for each category.
Migration and temporary entry programs do not increase risks to the safety of the Australian community.

Source: Portfolio Budget Statement, p. 44,
Department of Immigration and Border Protection, 3 May 2016.

Given the ability of previous national budgets to declare the annual Migration targets, how should we interpret this lack of specifics about ‘planning levels’?

Either the Government has not yet set its planning levels, or – with an election imminent – it is unwilling to declare them.

Could the public silence relate to what the Government has learned from its recent consultations into the two Programs? The Government has not yet released the findings of its consultation into the Humanitarian Program or its inquiry into Australia’s Migration Intake (#). Perhaps the recommendations from these two investigations are about to influence the new planning levels?

Our submissions to those inquiries (see here and here) called for reductions in each Program because high immigration threatens our economic and environmental sustainability, social cohesion and cultural integrity.

The abstract managerial jargon and obscure ‘planning levels’ used in tonight’s Budget Statement may give the Coalition parties some breathing space to set more tangible targets in the context of their election pledges. Let’s be optimistic and envisage a Coalition policy that promises to REDUCE IMMIGRATION.

What do you think of our analysis? We welcome comments on this website, and feedback via email (reduceimmigration@hotmail.com).

 


(#)   See here for the Productivity Commission’s status report on its inquiry into the migrant intake; we cannot find any similar status report from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection regarding its inquiry into the Humanitarian Program.


UPDATE (4 May 2016): Our wistful optimism last night was ill-founded. We had missed seeing a post-Budget media release from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. It reveals the Migration target for 2016-17. We are sorry to report that there are no surprises. Once again, for the fourth year in a row, the Government has set the target at 190,000. Nevertheless, it’s fascinating that the target hadn’t been agreed on in time for the printing deadline for the official Budget Papers.

We recently noted that Australia’s two immigration programs add the equivalent of Hobart’s population each year. And as Mark Moncrieff points out in his Comment, below, this high growth would deliver an extra 2 million immigrants across a decade if the targets stay constant.

The need to write REDUCE IMMIGRATION on ballot papers at the coming federal election is therefore unchanged. Spread the word to your friends, colleagues and family about how to share the REDUCE IMMIGRATION message!