Along with Australia’s infrastructure, housing affordability and environmental crises, increasing concerns about Australia’s social cohesion demand that Australia immediately lower its immigration intake back to a sustainable level, says William Bourke, the Dick Smith-endorsed Sustainable Population Party candidate in the North Sydney by-election.
“Australia is a tolerant nation with a rich history in migration. Our immigration policies shouldn’t be ethnically or religiously based, but they should be more rigorous and sustainable,” said Mr Bourke.
“According to a new report from the The Australian Population Research Institute, over the twentieth century Australia had an average permanent immigration intake of around 70,000 per year. This is the level to which Australia must immediately return. 70,000 per annum would set Australia for a population target of around 26 million people by 2050, instead of the current deeply unpopular target of 40 million.
“In the last ten years under the Liberal and Labor governments, with the support of their National and Greens partners, permanent immigration has been allowed to blow out to over 220,000 per year.
“Community concerns about infrastructure, housing affordability and environmental degradation – and increasingly Australia’s social cohesion - demand an immediate lowering back to the long term sustainable average, so that we can manage the immigration intake much more carefully.
“Importantly, lowering our annual immigration intake from the current 220,000 down to the long term average of 70,000 would free up overwhelmed Department of Immigration resources to devote to more intensive screening, integration and resettlement support services for each migrant. This will return us to a position in which migrants maximise their quality of life and contribution to Australia, whilst integrating with our common basic values including tolerance and gender equality.
“In order to protect Australia from extreme anti-immigration groups, and preserve the integrity of Australia’s migration program, we need to immediately address immigration numbers and bring them back to the twentieth century average level.
“For a sustainable Australia, our immigration program needs to be better, not bigger.” said Mr Bourke.