New poll: Australians decisively reject Big Australia path

24 November 2021

The new survey findings of the Resolve Political Monitor provide yet further evidence that Australians do not want to return to the Big Australia path of high population growth, according to Sustainable Population Australia (SPA).

The survey, as reported in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, found that 58% of Australians believe we should re-start immigration at a lower level than was happening before Covid.

SPA National President, Ms Jenny Goldie, says these new findings are consistent with the recent TAPRI (The Australian Population Research Institute) survey which found that 70% of Australians do not wish to return to pre-Covid immigration levels (See SPA’s recent Briefing Note).

“The findings also correspond closely to the abundant anecdotal evidence we see in letters to the editor and reader comments on newspaper web sites around the country,” says Ms Goldie.

“The message? People do not want to return to the pre-pandemic trends of extreme population growth generated by high levels of immigration.

“Despite heavy lobbying by employer groups to supercharge immigration, Australians understand that rapid population growth has not been in their interests.

“A number of prominent economists, such as Professor Ross Garnaut, have confirmed the link between low wages and high immigration in the decade prior to COVID-19.  Indeed, we have had the lowest per capita income growth in the OECD,” Ms Goldie says.

“We have also seen increasing congestion of infrastructure and continuing deterioration of the natural environment. We are losing critical habitat for other species, not least the koala, because of population growth. The more people there are, the greater urban and agricultural expansion to house and feed all the extra people.

“Can you also imagine the impact on housing affordability if we have a huge influx of migrants back to pre-Covid levels?

“When deciding post-Covid levels of immigration, the Federal government must take on board the very powerful messages coming from ordinary Australians,” says Ms Goldie.

Prior to the pandemic, Australia’s population growth was among the highest in the developed world, at around 1.6%.  That growth was driven largely by high levels of net migration of up to 240,000 people per year.