Promised immigration cuts welcome but not nearly enough
National President Ms Sandra Kanck says immigration should be cut by at least half, not by a mere 30,000. The current permanent intake is 190,000 though those numbers are swollen by the humanitarian intake, those on temporary visas and by New Zealanders.
“In the year to March 2018, Australia’s population grew by 380,700, of which 236,800 was from net overseas migration (immigration minus emigration),” says Ms Kanck. “Take 30,000 from 236,800 and you have a net migration rate of over 200,000, which is still way too high.
“The Prime Minister needs to not only tighten the permanent migration program, but also the temporary program as well, which is too large when set against our combined rate of unemployment and underemployment of 13.4 per cent.”
Ms Kanck says that the Prime Minister’s recognition of the strains on infrastructure caused by rapid population growth is belated but nevertheless welcome. However, the large immigration rate has also been highlighted as a driver of large biodiversity losses in State of the Environment reports.
“The federal government controls the size of the intake but it is the states which have to provide the infrastructure for not only the existing population but new arrivals as well, be they part of natural increase or immigration.
“It costs around $100,000 in public money to provide infrastructure for each new person. For a major city growing by 100,000 people a year, this amounts to $10bn needed every year. “
Ms Kanck refuted the Prime Minister’s assertion that immigration was needed to offset ageing. “That furphy has been rejected by both the Productivity Commission and the Australian Bureau of Statistics,” she says.
Ms Kanck stressed that there should be no cuts to the humanitarian program which currently amounts to less than ten per cent of total immigration.