Reducing Immigration

This page is from the 2016 election campaign. I am leaving it here as a record.

Australia has always been a country that has taken more immigrants than most. I am a migrant myself as is my Chinese-Indonesian wife. In my workplace I happily work with migrants from many different countries. I certainly don't blame anybody for wanting to come here. And in any case, we will always need to continue to take migrants because we also have emigrants that we need to replace. Apart from that we also need to make up a birth rate shortfall, although I would prefer to achieve this with more family-friendly policies. I support accepting migrants on a non-discriminatory basis as we do now.

My objection is that the number of immigrants coming to this country is too high. It is far in excess of what is needed to replace emigrants and make up for the birth rate shortfall. This is causing rapid population growth. And it has started to hurt young Australians, who if they want to buy a house, find themselves looking in fringe suburbs. The alternative is to live in apartments and while that's acceptable for young adults without children, it's not how Australians have traditionally raised families.

Another problem with population growth is that farmland is being obliterated by urban sprawl. That means that a lot of food has to be obtained from further away. And the people living in those far-away suburns have to travel a lot further, putting enormous pressure on underfunded infrastructure. Even within existing suburbs, increasing densities put stress on roads, schools and sporting fields.

We need to ask: Why are we doing this to ourselves? Sure, a few specialised sectors of the economy benefit but overall we don't.

My proposal is to only accept enough immigrants to replace emigrants and to make up any shortfall in birth rates.