Blow-Out in parent migration unwarranted (MAR)

6 March 2003

Media Releases 2003

New laws that open the way for thousands more parent migrants are completely unwarranted and will cause a further blow-out in the family reunion program, according to Sustainable Population Australia (SPA).

Federal Parliament passed laws yesterday increasing the parent quota from 500 to 4500, including a new category of 3500 if they paid $35,000 per head.

SPA national President Dr Harry Cohen says there is no automatic right for family members in the country of origin to join relatives who have migrated to Australia.

“Australia, Australians and the Australian Government are not responsible for splitting families,” says Dr Cohen. “It is those who have migrated, after weighing up the pros and cons of migration, who split their own families.”

Dr Cohen says that, while parent migrants are unlikely to breed and thus not increase the population growth rate as younger migrants will, nevertheless, the presence of parents and siblings may increase the likelihood of other family members applying and being accepted.

“This is how chain migration occurs and it leads to blow-outs in the program. Past governments completely lost control of the intake at times,” he says.

“There is a limited capacity for Australia to support even the current population and migration needs to be severely curbed. Asking for a large payment to off-set future medical costs is all very well but no mention is made of off-setting the environmental damage.

“All people, whether native-born or migrants, old or young, need housing, roads, other buildings and a whole range of services as well as energy. All these have an impact on the environment.

“Thus the new program is unfair to those in greatest need and ignores the environmental impact of a bigger population.”

Dr Cohen added that the demand for more housing is one of the pressures pushing the cost of housing ever higher and therefore disadvantages the Australian poor.

“If these parent migrants have $35,000, presumably they will be in a very advantaged position to compete with less well-off Australians,” he concluded.

Further information:

Dr Harry Cohen, Ph (w): 08 9381 9729 Ph (m): 0407 426 987

John Coulter, Ph: 08 8388 2153


Scroll to Top