A mixed bag of news for #reduceimmigration in 2015

High immigration adversely affects our environmental and economic sustainability, social cohesion and cultural integrity. A summary of the continuing need for the REDUCE IMMIGRATION write-on campaign can be found in our Select Bibliography for 2015.

In the year just ending, immigration issues have created harrowing times for Europe and many other parts of the world. Here are a few items of special relevance to Australia.

The Good News…

Australia’s net overseas immigration (NOM) has reduced a little. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released (in Australian Demographic Statistics, June 2015) its preliminary estimates for the financial year 2014-15:

The preliminary estimate of net overseas migration recorded for the year ended 30 June 2015 (168,200 people) was 11.4%, or 21,600 people lower than the net overseas migration recorded for the year ended 30 June 2014 (189,800 people).

The Bad News…

  • Despite the slight fall in intake that’s reported above as Good News, the 2014-15 actual NOM figure represents 1.6 times the capacity of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, or approximately two federal electorates – that’s a lot of immigrants! And the immigration targets for Australia are still excessively high. For 2015-16, the government has provided for up to 190,000 permanent migration places and 13,750 humanitarian places, plus an additional 12,000 humanitarian places for Syrian refugees, with ongoing pressure to accept more.
  • At its AGM on 4 July 2015, Victoria First retreated from its earlier endorsement of the REDUCE IMMIGRATION write-on campaign, due to a short-sighted lack of courage by its Executive. (Their only fresh idea for the future is to fold their tent, and wind up the association – with their modest residual funds being directed to the Victorian & Tasmanian branch of Sustainable Population Australia.)

A Mixed Bag…

In September, the Australian Institute for Progress released its report on a survey conducted in November 2014, Australian Attitudes to Immigration. While the sample group was, by their own admission, severely limited through ‘a significant skew towards Greens and Labor’ – ‘we miss out on many blue-collar, working-class voters’ – the research valiantly attempts to wrestle with the complex issues associated with understanding how Australians view immigration. Nevertheless, the questions they pose are interesting, and the mixed bag of responses gives food for thought. Their media release on the launch of their report suggests that it reveals ‘a nation deeply divided on issues around immigration, refugee policy and arrivals from Islamic countries’ and shows that ‘Australians are not only polarised on immigration, but they are very much “talking past” one another – using the same words to indicate radically different things’. Many respondents, for example, are so fixated on the illegal arrival of refugees (part of the Humanitarian program) that they are unable to comment rationally on the larger immigration program and picture. Every day, we see and hear such distortion of perception reflected in the media; this report epitomises the problem, but also lays a foundation for further research on complex and thorny issues.

Still Pending…

  • In November, the Productivity Commission released its draft report, Migrant Intake into Australia. Elements from our submission are reported in Box 4.2 (page 115) and Box 6.2 (page 186). As we noted at the time, the focus of the report’s recommendations is unfortunately on immigrants, not on ‘incumbent Australians’ or the environment. Public hearings on the draft report were held in December. At the Melbourne hearings, the REDUCE IMMIGRATION arguments were made persuasively by several speakers who out-numbered those from the pro-immigration lobby. Submissions and transcripts are available on the Commission’s website. We await the final report in March 2016.
  • Plebiscites are an excellent way to assess public opinion as a guide to government action. Earlier this year we canvassed the idea of a REDUCE IMMIGRATION Yes/No plebiscite not long before (then) PM Tony Abbott rightly decided the people should have a say on the (less important than immigration levels) issue of  ‘Gay Marriage’. We have made sure the PM and many others have received our communications on the REDUCE IMMIGRATION plebiscite. We hope for its eventual inclusion!

If Only…

This year, if only they had known about the REDUCE IMMIGRATION write-on campaign, 7,199,273 Australian voters would have had the opportunity to send the REDUCE IMMIGRATION message through the electoral process (not counting local government polls). These were the people who lodged formal votes at the New South Wales state election (4,404,334), the Queensland state election (2,623,443), and at federal by-elections in Canning WA (89,717) and North Sydney (81,779).

If only a number of high-profile people and organisations who are on the public record as having concerns about Australia’s immigration-driven population growth had spoken up about this non-partisan campaign! For reasons not clear to us, the following have been dismissive up to now about the REDUCE IMMIGRATION write-on campaign: Dick Smith, Graham Turner, Bob Carr, Tim Flannery, Ian Lowe, Ross Gittins, Andrew Bolt, Rita Panahi, Tom Elliott, William Bourke, Kelvin Thompson, the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Greens, Sustainable Population Australia and the Sustainable Population Party. Feel free to pester them on this issue!

Looking Ahead…

A federal election is due at some stage in 2016. Also, the Northern Territory is expected to go to the polls on 27 August 2016 and the Australian Capital Territory on 15 October 2016. See how to participate in the REDUCE IMMIGRATION write-on campaign, and check our FAQ page for further information.

We encourage all readers to spread news of the REDUCE IMMIGRATION write-on campaign to friends, family, elected representatives and influential leaders.

Happy New Year!



Melbourne broadcaster Tom Elliott has raised a radical question, ‘Should we give the states the power to refuse immigrants?’ on his blog and in a radio interview on 9 October with Victoria’s Planning Minister, Matthew Guy.

At present, of course, immigration is ‘controlled’ at national (not state) level by the Australian Government. Allowing each state the right to control its own borders would shatter the federation that enabled the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. But well-managed state control would enable citizens to reclaim the quality of life and environment that is disappearing as our population expands unsustainably due to high immigration.

Minister Guy paid little heed to Elliott’s creative thinking. Instead, he responded predictably: ‘We need population growth and we need overseas migration… We have Plan Melbourne [and] infrastrcture projects to manage population growth as we can see it coming.’

Someone who has been watching that growth advancing and increasing over many years is another journalist, John Masanauskas. Not afraid to tell things as he sees them, his writing is well represented in our bibliography of articles that provide insights into why immigration should be reduced.

The title of  Masanauskas’ latest piece, ‘Melbourne faces “future shock” with booming population’ (Herald Sun, 9 October 2014) says it all, and prompted Elliott’s afternoon theme on the same day. In the two days since publication of Masanauskas’ article, over 140 supportive comments were posted online at the foot of the article.

Readers who will be in Melbourne on Monday 13 October are reminded of an important public meeting, The Big Population Debate. The President of Victoria First (Kelvin Thomson MP) and the Lord Mayor of Melbourne (Robert Doyle) will discuss the question, ‘Will Melbourne still be the most liveable city by 2050?’. The debate begins at 5.30 pm sharp, at Deakin Edge, Federation Square.

People outside Melbourne can get a sense of Thomson’s arguments from his blog. The most recent post criticises an infrastructure project that plans to recruit workers from overseas rather than giving locals the chance to apply.

We remind all our readers that reducing net oversees migration is essential for Australia’s future. In November, Victorian voters will have the chance to express this view clearly by writing REDUCE IMMIGRATION in the blank space at the top of their ballot papers.

Spread the word!

The Big #PopulationGrowth Debate


Will Melbourne still be the most liveable city by 2050?

Afterword:   A video recording was made of the the evening’s proceedings. Part 1 (The Debate) is available by clicking HERE.  Part 2 (the Open Mike / Q&A session) is available by clicking HERE.
John Masanauskas of the Herald Sun reported the event on 18 October 2014:  Mayor backs push for referendum on population.


You are warmly invited to attend a debate between:

ROBERT DOYLE, Melbourne’s Lord Mayor (“Population growth is inevitable in our great urban centres so we need to plan for it.”)


KELVIN THOMSON, MP, President, Victoria First (“Population growth is neither inevitable nor desirable, it damages our way of life and our children’s future.”)

Moderator : MICHAEL SHORT, The Age – Editor of “The Zone”

with an OPEN MIKE for questions


Venue:   Deakin Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne

Date:      Monday 13 October 2014

Time:     This event commences at 5.30 pm sharp and runs until 7 pm



Brought to you by Planning Backlash, a coalition of Melbourne’s community and resident groups

Download a flier with the above details, HERE

Please share the news of this event by promoting this web-page to your family and friends.

#VictoriaFirst meeting endorses #ReduceImmigration

We are pleased to advise that today’s meeting of Victoria First Inc. passed a motion to endorse the REDUCE IMMIGRATION write-on message.

The wording of the motion, which passed without amendment, can be read here.

We look forward to the REDUCE IMMIGRATION message reaching new audiences through this important advocacy group, ably led by the Hon. Kelvin Thomson MP, especially as the opportunity draws closer for Victorians to vote in the November state election.

Victoria First will consider motion supporting the Reduce Immigration write-on

At next Saturday’s meeting of Victoria First, a motion about the REDUCE IMMIGRATION campaign will be proposed. Here’s the wording:

That Victoria First:

  • endorse the REDUCE IMMIGRATION write-on campaign as a non-partisan strategy to raise awareness of the need to reduce net overseas immigration;
  • encourage voters to use their ballot papers as a legitimate vehicle for popularising the REDUCE IMMIGRATION message;
  • advocate the benefits of the campaign to other organisations (e.g. SPA, SPP, ACF, Greens, etc) that share Victoria First’s concern about high immigration rates force-feeding our high population growth rate; and
  • promote the REDUCE IMMIGRATION write-on campaign as part of Victoria First’s communications to its members and to the general public.

The meeting is open to everyone: to members of Victoria First (an incorporated association that is ‘fighting to halt rapid population growth’) as well as to all others. If you are in Victoria on Saturday 2 August, please attend this public meeting and support the discussion.

If you can’t attend but you support the motion, why not email your endorsement of it to Kelvin Thomson MP, the President of Victoria First (Kelvin.Thomson.MP@aph.gov.au).
If you like, copy us in (reduceimmigration@hotmail.com).

Regardless of where you live, this is an important opportunity to publicise the REDUCE IMMIGRATION campaign.

As Victoria First’s website is still in development, we are pleased to publish details of their meeting here:

Date:         Saturday 2 August 2014

Time:       2 pm – 4 pm

Venue:    Frankston Life Saving Club, Frankston Victoria.
The club house is on the Frankston foreshore, at the end of Wells Street near the intersection with the Nepean Highway. McDonalds is on the corner.

Melway: Map 102 Ref C 2

Transport tips:   The nearest railway station is Frankston. Disabled parking is available. Free parking is available in nearby shopping centre car-parks.

Guest speaker:    Mr Ian Hundley, public transport advocate

Topic:    “The transport crisis in the Frankston area: issues of economy, ecology and social connectedness”

Click to download a flyer about the event, and a map showing local parking.


Victoria First was launched in December 2013 and hosted well-attended meetings in various suburbs of Melbourne in February, April and June 2014.

Further information about the Frankston meeting and Victoria First Inc is available from the Secretary, Julianne Bell, via email (jbell5@bigpond.com) or phone (0408 022 408). If you wish to join Victoria First, you can subscribe on the day.

News round-up on Australia’s immigration problems and #PopulationGrowth

Pressure continues to build on Australia’s current population due to high immigration. The causes, symptoms and frustrations are revealed in a number of articles and interviews published in the last two months.

We have updated our bibliography to include a selection of recent media items.

We have also added links to YouTube coverage of  the June meeting of Victoria First, here, including the Open Mic session.

Enjoy the read!

Must Melbourne keep growing? Open mike meeting on #PopulationGrowth

In response to the latest official projections for population growth in Melbourne and Victoria, Victoria First Inc has issued a warning: “Melbourne will continue to grow both upwards and outwards, continuing its path to becoming an obese, hardened artery parody of its former self”.

Victoria First Inc was launched in December 2013 and hosted well-attended meetings in February and April 2014. It advocates a reduction in Australia’s immigration program.

Kelvin Thomson MP, the group’s President, has announced details of the next public meeting. Its topic is Must Melbourne keep growing? The meeting is being hosted jointly by Victoria First and Sustainable Population Australia. The format of the afternoon is a panel discussion and open mike.

As Victoria First’s website is still in development, we are pleased to assist by publishing information about the meeting here:

Date:   Saturday 14 June 2014

Start time:   2.00 pm

Venue:   Chandelier Room, Hawthorn Arts Centre, 360 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria

Melway:   Map 45 Ref D 10

Transport tips:   The nearest railway station is Glenferrie. Tram route 69 runs along Glenferrie Road. Car-parking is available via Oxley Street.

Topic:   “Must Melbourne keep growing?”

Panellists (with links to their speeches, published after the event on YouTube)

Kelvin Thomson MP, federal Member for Wills and President of Victoria First (speech via YouTube)

Clifford Hayes, planning activist and former Mayor of Bayside City Council (speech via YouTube)

Sheila Newman, author and editor of candobetter.net (speech via YouTube)

William Bourke, President of the Sustainable Population Party (speech via YouTube)

 Click here to download a flyer about the event.

Click here to watch the Open Mic session via YouTube.


Further information about the meeting and the joint hosts is available from:

Victoria First Inc: Julianne Bell, Secretary (email: jbell5@bigpond.com; mobile: 0408 022 408)

Sustainable Population Australia: Jill Quirk, President (email: vic@population.org.au; mobile: 0409 742 927)