Look to the future
Mike Seccombe’s article raises some thorny questions for the centre left of politics. Only a few days ago the ACTU signed up with business and other lobby groups to support the current high levels of immigration. Labor and the Greens remain silent about high population growth rates, despite opinion polls showing substantial public concern. A political vacuum is thus created into which racially tinged arguments from the hard right readily flow. The key question is the number of people, not their race, ethnicity or religion. Race should not be used either for setting immigration targets or to shut down genuine debate on population. Australia now needs to squarely address how we are going to join with the First Australians to become true custodians of this continent. Population numbers, levels of consumption and our attitudes to nature are all vital aspects of the dialogue.
– Peter Cook, Palmwoods, Qld