Australian Immigration: The Public Want Lower Levels

Australian Immigration: The Public Want Lower Levels. By Phil Shannon.

A large majority of the Australian population have long been opposed to Australia’s excessively high immigration inflow and they remain so today.

All pre-COVID opinion polls … have shown a majority of voters (variously between 55 to 65 per cent) opposed to high immigration-fuelled population growth. Only 10 per cent think immigration has been too low. Post-closed-borders, Nine Media’s Resolve Political Monitor in February 2022 found that this mood has not shifted …

The more comprehensive survey, by The Australian Population Research Institute of Oct/Nov 2019, found that 72 per cent did not agree that Australia needs more people, whilst their post-pandemic July 2021 survey found the new government NOM [net overseas migration] target gets the tick from only 19 per cent of voters, with 42 per cent wanting a lower number and a further 28 per cent preferring nil immigration …

When asked by Essential why they wanted reduced immigration, large majorities of Australians think that ‘increasing immigration levels would add more pressure on the housing system and infrastructure’ (63 per cent) whilst almost half (48 per cent) fear that ‘increasing immigration levels would create more competition for jobs and slow wage growth’.

Most voters … are unconvinced by ‘elite justifications for high immigration’ such as immigration being essential for economic growth, including meeting skilled worker demand (only 26 per cent agree that economic health depends on immigration) whilst 61 per cent prefer dealing with skills shortages by raising wages and productivity measures such as improving skills training for locals.

Immigrants are also a drag on government finances because many (particularly elderly parents of immigrants arriving here under the family reunification program) consume far more in government welfare than they have ever or will ever pay in taxes. The mooted tax-revenue boost from immigration to fund an ageing population also never materialises because the immigrants themselves age and need ever more immigration to fund their own welfare needs in old age. …

Diversity? Not really.

Neither are most Australians sold on the alleged ethnic diversity benefits of mass immigration that is the migraine-inducing drumbeat of Australia’s leftist elites. From 2004-05 to 2018-19, … the proportion of net migration to Australia coming from the UK, Ireland and Europe fell from 21 per cent (it had been as high as 42 per cent back in 1980) to just 5 per cent today, …

Fully 85 per cent of net migration now comes from Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

So have Australians welcomed this? No, we haven’t. Only 29 per cent agree that ‘we need more people to increase our cultural diversity’ whilst a majority (53 per cent) think that ‘cultural diversity is a threat to Australia’s own culture and identity’.

When the inevitable woke hysterics start shouting that all this polling shows ‘Australia is racist!’ and that white Australians are racial supremacists who really don’t like brown people, it is useful to note … that majority opposition to mass immigration is common across all birthplace groups.

The annual quarter-million NOM Big Australia target doesn’t find much favour at all, even amongst those born in Asia … Of these, only 30 per cent want to see their home-country levels of overpopulation reproduced in Australia.

Left’s excuses revealed as bunk:

This opposition to immigration from earlier cohorts of immigrants poses something of a dilemma for the Left because that would make off-white, as well as white Australians, guilty of ‘racism’. Since woke logic insists only white people are capable of racism, this would cause major cognitive dissonance if the wokeists were to stop their virtue-signalling long enough to think about it. When woke leftists say ‘race doesn’t exist’ followed immediately by ‘racial diversity should be celebrated’, we can conclude that leftism is a distressingly common mental disorder. …

Immigrants to Australia are overwhelmingly legal, and don’t all vote left:

Decades ago, the trend was for immigrants to largely vote Labor (unless they were specifically of Cold War anti-communist lineage), but this no longer holds true and both major parties pitch for the votes and pork-barrels of vote-swinging ethnic blocs. As a result, immigration is looked on favourably by both major parties …

Political parties and immigration:

Immigration’s negative effect on working class jobs and livelihoods, however, does make curbing immigration a natural political fit for the working class populist Right (Trump, Brexit, PHON, etc.) …

As for the hard Left (Greens included), immigration is amongst the wokest of issues, a political purity test that comes with the peril of being looked upon as some sort of political pond-life should opposition be given voice. The keenest administrators of the test … are degree-holders (25 per cent of the Australian population) who are mostly (except, perhaps, for engineers) bred in our universities’ petri dish for wokeness.

Perhaps they should read their unexpurgated Karl Marx… [who] stated the obvious — that mass immigration by desperate labourers [escaping the Irish famine] “forces down wages and lowers the material and moral position of the English working class”. Marx would have torn bleeding strips off any leftist then, or now, who would invoke an abstract moralism about welcoming all immigrants, because ‘diversity’ or whatever, whilst ignoring their impact (‘material’ and, note, ‘moral’) on the native working class.

Australian levels are among the highest in the world, per capita, but that is something our bureaucrats decided for us. Legal immigration levels have never been an election issue — opportunity awaits.

hat-tip Stephen Neil