Muslim ghettoes forming in Australia as white residents flee

Muslim ghettoes forming in Australia as white residents flee, by Brad Norington.

Demographic shifts driven by Australia’s immigration program threaten to lock Sydney’s western suburbs and parts of Melbourne into a bleak future, as low-income ethnic clusters struggle to cope with congestion and social dislocation, experts warn.

Large numbers of new arrivals who have difficulty finding work have poured into Sydney’s west, according to census-based research commissioned by The Weekend Australian.

“Uncompromisingly direct” evidence from the research confirms an exodus of affluent locals from western Sydney is occurring at an equally significant rate. …

Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Minister Alan Tudge raised concerns about the social integration of “parallel” Asian and Middle Eastern migrant communities this week when he flagged government plans for a mandatory basic English requirement for all new permanent ­residents.

Mr Tudge said research showed a lack of English language skills among migrants had contributed to social fragmentation. He cited suburbs where one in three could not speak English well, or at all. …

Across urban Sydney, 39 per cent of the population was born outside Australia — compared with 29 per cent in greater New York, Paris (22 per cent), Berlin (13 per cent) Tokyo (2 per cent) and Shanghai (1 per cent). …

Dr Birrell said that, just as ­arriving migrants found their living circumstances difficult, “Anglo” locals experienced strains because sudden high concentrations of newcomers with non-English-speaking backgrounds and different cultures led to noticeable changes in the composition of schools, clubs, civic associations and shopping areas. Residents often no longer recognised their suburb, and felt uncomfortable. …

Dr Birrell said recently arrived migrants with non-English-speaking backgrounds settled in the western suburbs primarily because housing was cheaper — but jobs were scarce. … According to research conducted with Dr Birrell, Dr Healy found income levels were critical to flows in and out. Low-income people with non-­English-speaking backgrounds were “locked into these areas”.

via John Ray