Submission to Review of the Migration System for Australia’s Future
16 December 2022
Read the full version here (PDF), including 13 recommendations.
Australia’s future prosperity depends on a sustainable scale of migration, based on a vision for an ecologically sustainable population and economy. NOM around 60,000 per year would enable Australia’s population to stabilise below 30 million people.
The vast experiment of accelerating Australia’s population growth through high levels of immigration has solved none of the problems it was intended to fix, while exacerbating all of the issues of most concern to Australians, from job insecurity and falling real wages to housing unaffordability, inadequate infrastructure, environmental degradation and greenhouse gas emissions.
Migrants have also suffered as job opportunities failed to live up to promises and the vast number of temporary visas issued ensured long backlogs of applications for permanent residence.
What this experiment has delivered is large windfall gains to property developers, large employers, universities and migration agents, at the expense of ordinary Australians and our environment.
Economic arguments in favour of high population growth do not stand up to objective analysis. Costs of population growth far outweigh the benefits. In particular, concerns about demographic ageing causing worker shortages have proven unfounded.
Lower immigration will deliver greater workforce participation, wage growth, productivity growth, and housing affordability. Fiscal costs associated with population ageing are more than off-set by lower infrastructure costs in a stable population. We will be better able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to ensure community resilience in the face of extreme weather events.
This submission sets out the evidence and strategies for a sustainable level of migration that will enable Australia’s population to stabilise below 30 million people.