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  1. #1
    CC Grandmaster Ian Murray's Avatar
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    Immigration policy

    Turning people into gold
    Alan Kohler
    Business Spectator
    28 Mar 10

    It is an exquisite irony perhaps, but one of the Howard government’s greatest legacies is a population boom.

    It’s ironic, of course, because John Howard won the 2001 election by appearing to be xenophobic via the children overboard affair and mandatory detention of asylum seekers. But the numbers tell a totally different story: John Howard was the most immigration-friendly national leader since European settlement in 1788. It might have been because he wanted to break the power of unions rather than a multicultural heart beating in his breast, but the effect is the same.

    According to yesterday’s data from the ABS, Australia’s population grew by 452,000 in the year to September, or 2.1 per cent, putting it near the top of the international league table (just behind Singapore and Saudi Arabia).

    This is the great unspoken cause of our current prosperity and the fact that we escaped the GFC virtually unscathed. More people mean more GDP – more consumer spending, more demand for housing, and therefore higher house prices and greater wealth, more construction and more jobs.

    There is almost no downside to a high level of immigration: it reduces skill shortages at the same time as creating employment and helps offset the ageing of the population because new arrivals tend to be young.
    ....

  2. #2
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    Didn't immigration level increase under Labor government?

    According to yesterday’s data from the ABS, Australia’s population grew by 452,000 in the year to September, or 2.1 per cent, putting it near the top of the international league table

    Without discussing pro and cons of immigration, what does it have to do with Howard government?
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  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster arosar's Avatar
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    Well, for my money, I reckon we gotta immediately put a cap on these blow-ins until the supply of housing catches up. We also need to start taking seriously the infrastructure problem, particularly transport. Look at Sydney. It's a joke!

    But more important is that we gotta teach Australians to start living in small high rise apartments. Sprawling out further and further into the woods doesn't help the environment and only keeps pressure on transport and other services.

    AR

  4. #4
    CC International Master AzureBlue's Avatar
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    Rudd flips on 'big Australia'
    JOSH GORDON

    April 4, 2010

    THE federal government will consider slashing Australia's annual migration intake to help tackle concerns about traffic congestion, housing, hospitals, water and the environment.

    Just months after declaring himself in favour of a ''big Australia'', Prime Minister Kevin Rudd yesterday warned of ''legitimate concerns'' with population growth and appointed Agriculture Minister Tony Burke as Australia's first Population Minister.

    Mr Burke has been given a year to develop the country's first population plan, including a review of immigration levels.

    The announcement came as another boatload of asylum seekers - the 102nd to be intercepted since Mr Rudd took office - was placed in detention at the Christmas Island facility, which has reportedly reached capacity.

    Mr Rudd denied the new strategy was a smokescreen to divert attention from the recent boat arrivals, saying the idea for a population plan had come after ''extensive deliberations of the cabinet over the last month''.

    He said population growth must be monitored: ''Particularly its impact on urban congestion, its impact on the adequacy of infrastructure, its impact on the adequacy of housing supply, its impact on government services, its impact also on water and agriculture and on our regions.''

    Mr Rudd's change of heart followed the release last month of Treasury's Intergenerational Report, which predicted Australia's population would swell from about 22 million to 35.9 million in 2050, with overseas migration by far the biggest contributor.

    Australia's growth rate is now twice the global average, even outstripping that in some developing nations including the Philippines, Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

    Figures from the Bureau of Statistics show that last financial year net overseas migration added a record 298,924 people, while natural increase (births minus deaths) added 157,792.

    Victoria's population, estimated at 5.44 million at June 2009, is growing faster than the national average, with 27 per cent of all immigrants in 2008-09 choosing to set up home here.

    The majority moved to Melbourne, where population growth outstripped all other capital cities for the eighth year in a row, compounding pressure on the city's public transport network, roads and housing market.

    Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison dismissed Mr Rudd's announcement as a diversion to cover his failure to control boat arrivals. ''Effectively what he has announced is a plan for a plan after the next election,'' he said.

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said Australia needed a serious debate on population.

    ''It's very hard to have a sustainable population strategy if you can't control our boat arrivals. You can't have a population policy without having a border protection policy,'' he said.

    The Future Eaters author and former Australian of the Year Tim Flannery welcomed the move, but said the Government should create an independent board to set medium and longer-term targets that would take into account the environment, social issues and the economy.

    Greens leader Bob Brown said the new strategy must be matched with action. ''The major parties' population growth plan is outstripping Australia's infrastructure, environmental capacity and affecting quality of life.''
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  5. #5
    CC FIDE Master littlesprout85's Avatar
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    Alrighty Then

    Come onz now ppl - lets not stab sprouty in da back before meh even get to the outback. Meh already pretty scared of the naturalization test to become an Australian

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  6. #6
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    Generally speaking I support large level of immigration. As far as housing/infrastructure concerned, relaxing strict zoning/regulation will let market solve those problem. Moscow is few times smaller then Melbourne, yet has three times the population.
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  7. #7
    CC International Master AzureBlue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    Generally speaking I support large level of immigration. As far as housing/infrastructure concerned, relaxing strict zoning/regulation will let market solve those problem. Moscow is few times smaller then Melbourne, yet has three times the population.
    Yes, infrastructure, transport and hospital systems etc... definitely need to develop to support a larger population in Australia.

  8. #8
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arosar
    But more important is that we gotta teach Australians to start living in small high rise apartments. Sprawling out further and further into the woods doesn't help the environment and only keeps pressure on transport and other services.
    AR is dead right on this - the kind of increase in population that is being talked about is going to lead to numerous extinctions and degradation of large areas of habitat unless we get serious about urban infilling (ugly as it is).

    Of course that also involves getting waaay more serious about effective public transport and I think that challenge is beyond some of our biggest cities already. Unless we can solve that, might have to look at building up small cities into bigger cities but I know the economies of concentration of population wouldn't be there in such cases.

    The good thing is that if the "blow-ins" come mainly from areas that are already crowded they will adapt much more easily to the kind of urban changes we will need to avoid the place being trashed by a population increase. But population increase from breeding by the quarter-acre types and outer-suburban-sprawlers might be a harder problem to manage.

  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster arosar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    The good thing is that if the "blow-ins" come mainly from areas that are already crowded they will adapt much more easily to the kind of urban changes we will need to avoid the place being trashed by a population increase.
    In that case, bring in more Asians. See those high rise apartments in Sydney's CBD? They got whole families living in them in 1-2 bedroom apartments!

    Just joking. A lot of them are actually Asian students just saving dough on accommodation so they can spend their parents' money on the latest designer labels or on tuition fees for a masters from a degree mill. You get the drift.

    But look, seriously, these people come here because this country promises them, among many other things, "space". I can hardly imagine an average Tokyoite moving from a shoebox to yet another shoebox.

    And so long as Australia, Sydney in particular, keeps finding itself on any "top 10" list of "most livable" country or city, we'll always have people wanting to live here.

    AR

  10. #10
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    Generally speaking I support large level of immigration. As far as housing/infrastructure concerned, relaxing strict zoning/regulation will let market solve those problem. Moscow is few times smaller then Melbourne, yet has three times the population.
    Of course. The most expensive areas in the USA are the ones with the most regulation. Australia also has plenty of empty space that could be developed. The greenest areas are often those privately owned.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  11. #11
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    Good article my Greg Sheridan
    Populate or perish still true

    The huge resources boom we are undergoing has led some to describe Australia as a possible Saudi Arabia of the South Pacific. I can imagine no more revolting a label than that.
    Good point, but he is exaggerating.

    It's true that rapid population growth poses infrastructure challenges. But the pathetic failure of state governments to provide and manage infrastructure means they all need to be turfed out or reformed.
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  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    I think we easily have the space required to accommodate 35 million or so people without having to jam everyone into high rise apartments. That is not the issue. The issue is whether our governments and councils can provide sufficient infrastructure for these 35 million people. Judging by their track record for just 20 million, I think the answer is obvious.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvinator
    The issue is whether our governments and councils can provide sufficient infrastructure for these 35 million people.
    They can't, but it's not their job. Let private sector do it.
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  14. #14
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    The population will expand to those levels, regardless of whether we shut the doors or not. So it is not really a question of immigration, but one of town planning. Having infrastructure built as the requirment grows would be nice, rather than 10 years too late. But I mean what do you expect from morons who build a 2-lane city bypass road, expect to have to duplicate it in 15 years or so.
    meep meep

  15. #15
    CC FIDE Master littlesprout85's Avatar
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    Sims Australia

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