Immigration in the global spotlight
Last year our population grew slower than it has in a decade, at just 1.35 per cent, with fewer migrants moving here. That’s partly thanks to our international reputation for welcoming them as warmly as the KKK embrace black members, and also because of the faltering mining industry. The government also chipped in by abolishing certain types of skilled migration visas, telling 16,000 people that their applications never existed. Elsewhere, the United Nations called us out over policies and even postponed a planned visit in protest at certain provisions in the Australian Border Force Act. And then the UN official charged with investigating the human rights of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island didn’t see the point of coming when our laws made it illegal for anyone to tell him anything. Nice work Australia.
THE GQ INSIGHT: With the world facing the largest refugee crisis since World War II, Australians forced the hand of the then Abbott government to change its policy on taking in Syrian refugees. Big T went from his fallback, “we’re full”, to welcoming 12,000. Which would be impressive had Germany not agreed to house 800,000.