#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.

#AustraliaDay2018 – making good our historical amnesia

We are pleased to report that quality resistance and rebuttal is at last rising to counter the modern historical revisionism that seeks to distort, discount and de-legitimise Australia Day’s significance, and to change its date away from 26 January when Captain Arthur Phillip’s First Fleet started to disembark at Sydney Cove in 1788.

Here are four recent examples that deserve applause:

Jacinta Price is an Alice Springs Councillor and a straight-talking young woman who proudly acknowledges her mixed ancestry (half Aboriginal / half European) and the importance of ‘celebrating a country we love’. Since speaking out on Australia Day last year, she has been an energetic advocate for retaining 26 January as the date. Her statements this week include a widely reported debate and this radio conversation.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has weighed in usefully this week with a stout defence in favour of the current date for Australia Day. We note that he is also (again!) recommending a ‘scaling back [of] immigration … to keep wages up and housing prices down.’

Nick Cater‘s opinion piece ‘Australian success story offers no scope for contrition or cringe’ (The Australian, 23 January 2018) is also worthy of note.

In ‘Australia Day doubters misread our past’ (The Australian, 26 January 2018), eminent historian Geoffrey Blainey observes that:

Critics [who] deride January 26 as Invasion Day … read their history backwards. Captain Arthur Phillip had no intention of launching an invasion that would eventually cover and conquer even a fraction of Australia.

The loudest attacks on Australia Day come from those who are really attacking the legitimacy of their nation.

Most indigenous people are better off than if they had remained, generation after generation, in their old way of life. Most newcomers to Australia — and their children — are better off than if they had stayed at home. Australia Day in its low-key way recognises these truths.

We congratulate all who are helping to repair the damage done by the historical amnesia that has been fostered by schools and academia since the 1970s.

The Australia Day controversy is an emblematic example. Something else that needs repair is the effect on Australia of high mass immigration from non-traditional source countries and regions (e.g. the Middle East, Asia and Africa) rather than the British Isles and Europe.

Unfortunately, the hazard warnings issued about immigration from the 1980s were studiously ignored by policy makers and governments. Professor Blainey, Dr Katherine Betts, Dr Bob Birrell, Australians Against Further Immigration and Graeme Campbell all drew attention to the new origins and changed demographics, and to the ways in which mass immigration precipitates the decline of social cohesion and national memory. (See our Bookshelf for some key texts.) If heeded back then, some of today’s obviously unwelcome trends could have been more easily avoided.

Among the inevitable consequences of mass immigration is the erosion and loss of our common, shared national memory, as noted recently by Henry Ergas:

…works that go to the origins and nature of the ‘Australian Settlement’ are less likely to be used as points of reference in the public debate, with that being all the more the case as immigration ensures so large a share of the population has little connection to, and knowledge of, the Australian past.

Ergas quotes John Hirst (‘Empire, state, nation’, 2008, p. 142) who wrote: ‘among the Australian people only faint memories now remain of the origins of their polity’. Ergas then adds:

It also seems reasonable to suppose those memories have become increasingly faint as the polity’s origins recede in time and as Australia has become more and more a society of migrants who have little connection to, or knowledge of, the structural roots of the society in which they live.

Ergas also shares Hancock’s insight (expressed in Australia, 1930, p. 270), that:

…any country which, because of an ‘instinctive distaste for the past’ seeks to always live in the present is inevitably ‘threatened with submergence by the more stupid ideas, credulities and quarrels of the day before yesterday’

Source: Henry Ergas, ‘Tocqueville, Hancock, and the Sense of History’,
in W.O. Coleman (ed), Only in Australia: The History, Politics,
and Economics of Australian Exceptionalism
,
Oxford, 2016, pages 82, 100 and 102.

On Australia Day, let’s reflect on the REDUCE IMMIGRATION write-on’s laconic Aussie efficiency.

Our simple, two-word message is capable of initiating the process of unpicking, unravelling, unglueing, or cutting straight through this amnesia. The now-decades-old, bipartisan, Gordian Knot of undemocratically ‘manufactured consent’ still artificially protects immigration policy from being corrected. This can be changed, literally, by the written hand of the masses on their ballot papers.

Is it any wonder that all the vested high immigration interests shudder at the thought of the REDUCE IMMIGRATION write-on becoming common knowledge? It’s aimed fairly and squarely at stabilising our rapid and damaging, unsustainable, force-fed, high immigration induced, high population growth rate.

Please share these ideas with your family and friends as you enjoy this Australia Day!

And, for further reading, our previous years’ Australia Day postings on this site remain relevant and are tagged for easy review and consideration.

No change to Australia’s high immigration targets in #Budget2017

Peter Dutton, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, has announced Australia’s immigration targets for 2017-18. Once again, we are sorry to report that there are no surprises. For the fifth year in a row, the Government has set the Migration target at 190,000. And, as announced in 2015, the Humanitarian program has risen to 16,250 for 2017-18.

We previously noted that, combined, Australia’s two immigration programs add the equivalent of Hobart’s population each year. This is a burden on existing infrastructure and adversely affects our environmental and economic sustainability, social cohesion and cultural integrity.

Our ‘new normal’ status quo of high immigration seems not to have been found worthy of report in any of the commentary on the federal Budget during the past week. This is surprising, given the pre-Budget comments made by several ‘immigration aware’ critics (e.g. Judith Sloan at The Australian,  and Andrew Bolt, Steve Price, Tom Elliott via various channels). If you have noticed any media that’s critical of our current immigration policy folly, please do let us know.

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

Update, 20 May 2017:

An article published on the same day as our above post calls out the government’s budget plans, noting that ‘Australia is sucking in too many of the wrong type of immigrant’ and observing that a more selective immigration program would protect cultural essentials and help the government reduce Australia’s national debt. See: Gary Johns, ‘Time for Turnbull to play the migration card’The Australian, 17 May 2017, p. 14.

Update, 30 May 2017:

Judith Sloan’s article in today’s Australian (‘Peter Dutton part of the cynical charade on house prices’) describes the challenge she faced in locating the updated immigration targets in the 2017-18 Budget papers. She now knows, as we discovered last year, that the figures simply aren’t included in the Budget, but instead announced via a media release!
   Sloan’s article does, however, make some excellent observations about the government’s failure to match its rhetoric on housing affordability with changes to the rate of net overseas immigration, and concludes forcefully:

So when you next hear Dutton blathering on about getting tough on refugees and 457 visa holders and the like, bear in mind that on the big issue he has simply squibbed it.

If the government really had wanted to demonstrate its determination to improve housing affordability and the related pres­sures on urban infrastructure, it would have slashed the migration program numbers, but it was clearly too hard. The vested interests have had their way.

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