The Gold Coast Bulletin
High immigration is little more than a tall storey
WITH international borders closed and the universal cry for them to reopen, the corollary must surely be, what does this mean for future migration?
Governments in recent times have taken the lazy way out that increases in our population are the levers for economic growth.
So, our population has been expanding at the rate of another Canberra every year.
There is no evidence from government or from Treasury that, if “normal” returns, we won’t resume this unsustainable madness.
Back in 2018, Prime Minister Morrison delivered the Bradfield Oration.
In acknowledging Bradfield he said, “You don’t build a bridge with that many lanes in 1932 because you enjoyed the engineering challenge.
“You did it because you were planning for the future and you got it … you had a vision for Sydney being a great city and you planned and built for it.”
Vision equals seeing.
I can tell you what people see – chaos, traffic congestion, kids living and being educated like battery hens.
As we saw with Tuesday night’s federal budget, the government seems to believe that $110 billion of infrastructure will meet the population deluge.
Surely we’re in pretty bad shape if, to grow the economy, we have to let in 250,000 people a year, the argument being we will build houses for them, sell them washing machines, push them through the supermarket and the economy grows.
To be fair to the Prime Minister, back in November 2018, he acknowledged that Australians are saying, “Enough, enough, enough, the roads are clogged, the buses and trains are full, the schools are taking no more enrolments. I hear what you’re saying. I hear you loud and clear.”
If the Prime Minister hears us loud and clear, what is the response?
In that speech, the Prime Minister acknowledged that migration had accounted for 58 per cent of our economic growth; that over two decades to 2016, our national population had grown by six million and migration made up 54 per cent of the increase.
The Prime Minister argued, “According to the World Bank, Australia’s population is growing faster than most OECD countries, including the United States. And 75 per cent of that growth went to Sydney, Melbourne and southeast Queensland.”
We already have record levels of youth unemployment at 15.6 per cent and underemployment at over 8 per cent.
How do you solve those problems by letting in another quarter of a million?
Politicians are good at ignoring reality. Already a quarter of Sydney apartments are home to families and, too often, not suitable for children.
Street residential areas have become Singapore-style mini cities.
In NSW, if the government has its way, there will be more than 700,000 units in blocks of
up to 25 storeys, built across suburban centres over the next decade; and the NSW government is quietly dumping the bulk of these in some of Sydney’s most under- resourced areas.
Bureaucrats in NSW have drawn up what they call 40 high-rise hot spots.
You have to say this slowly … 35,000 new dwellings accommodating 150,000 residents planned for southwest of Sydney.
If this happens, that region alone would need 40 new schools, 177 new hospital beds, seven new ambulance stations, six new fire stations, five new police stations, 15 new libraries and 22 new long daycare centres.
And then, government, without any mandate, starts deciding priority precincts. Whose priorities? Bureaucrats say NSW will need 725,000 new homes over the next 20 years because population equals economic growth.
They are kidding us. A 14-storey high school, an offence to proper education, has been built in inner Sydney for 1200 students, one of five high-rise Government schools; and the NSW government says surging enrolments will require 12 new schools to be built every year.
Have a look as you drive from the airport in Brisbane where traffic is so bad that they are now contemplating a London-like congestion tax.
Check the area around Crown Casino in Melbourne; and in Sydney, buildings are going up in migrant-heavy suburbs such as Belmore and Campsie, where every single street is being up-zoned for between three and 25 storeys.
I remember Dick Smith once saying that every Aussie family has a population plan.
They can have up to 20 children but they don’t.
Instead, they have the number for whom they can provide a good life.
We have no similar plan for
Bottle of wine upon arrival. Late checkout of 12pm. WiFi & parking.
our country. Just about every problem we have in the world is harder to fix with more people.
We are entering the world of automation and robotics.
Where are tomorrow’s children going to get a job?
Or do we want an Australia where our children and grandchildren will never have a proper full-time career; where children will never live in a house with a backyard; or will live in a world of endless travel gridlock.
My correspondence is full of letters from people in suburbs too long to list, especially Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, talking about rat traps, gridlock and urban consolidation; and government greed that feeds on stamp-duty returns.
At election time, no party talks about immigration or population.
The much-maligned but intellectually gifted Tony Abbott has long questioned the rate of immigration, only 4 night stay in Darwin at the Ramada Zen Quarter Darwin.
Lunch or dinner at the historic Stokes Hill Wharf. Big Croc Feed Experience & half day guided tour of Crocosaurus Cove.
Big Bus Darwin 24 hour Hop-on Hop-off pass with commentary.
1 hour airboat ride with Darwin Airboat Tours. to find himself labelled as “anti-migration”.
He has made the very valid point that legal migration, prepandemic, had reached double the average of the Howard years, putting millions of Australians’ lives under strain.
As Tony Abbott said, “Critics will denounce any change as populist but that is what snobbish elites always say about something the public wants but they don’t.”
For a government with a lot on its plate, this issue is important.
Australia has co-authored a global compact for “safe, orderly and regular migration”.
Why would we sign up to any UN Convention, drafted by countries who have lost control of their borders?
Are we now going to outsource our migration policy to the discredited UN?
Australians have every right to demand an immediate and transparent debate about migration.
Both sides of politics must be forced to put clear policies on the table before the next election.
An argument that high immigration benefits the nation by sustaining growth is nothing but a lazy growth model based on throwing up apartment blocks and shopping malls.
We hold one world record we could do without – the highest rate of population growth of any developed country in the world, higher than that of Indonesia.