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Immigration numbers are a STATE election issue

The Federal Government is not the sole responsible for Australia's planned and economic immigration; in fact the States seem to be leading it. State governments and political parties tend to try to mislead Australians on this very issue, so I felt it was time to write an article. Now is the time to head to your local member's office and ask him or her what he or she is going to do about this. If you don't get a sensible answer, vote small parties before Lib, Lab or Green.

Your most telling examples of how the States impact on immigration are the State migration websites. The States 'nominate' migrants. I think the Feds just pretend to 'vet ' them. In Victoria it is www.liveinvictoria.gov.com.au, in WA www.migration.wa.gov.au/, South Australia, https://www.migration.sa.gov.au; in Queensland, migration.qld.gov.au/, ACT: www.canberrayourfuture.com.au/, Northern Territory: www.australiasnorthernterritory.com.au/; Tasmania, www.migration.tas.gov.au/
And there are the national pages: www.immi.gov.au/Work/Pages/Work.aspx

The States pressure the Federal government for immigration. They organise to redefine areas of the states as regions in need of migration. Jeff Kennett managed to reverse Victoria's negative population growth in the 1990s in part by doing this. He made it possible for rural people to sponsor nephews and other distant relatives as immigrants because they were places in need of migration for workers etc. I think following on from him, State governments around Australia did things like make their CBDs 'regions in need of immigration'. Note that on the NT site above, for instance, there is a display that explains that it is a "designated area Migration Agreement".

The States are in charge of land, water and power. They earn money from land-sales through stamp duties and rely a great deal on this. The political parties are invested in land, development and finance (including banks) as well and States have institutions which facilitate private investment in public land for property development. It is all quite incestuous.

The States also earn money from private public development, over our protests. How many of you knew that "Places Victoria" is actually the Victorian Government's public-private property development arm, and that it is a payed up member of the Property Council of Australia - which heads up the Australian growth lobby. And, for those who care about the homeless, the Department of Human Services, Office of Housing, is also a member. Truly, in the land of the not so lucky anymore, the foxes are credentialled chicken guardians.

Comments

One only has to read the election issues facing different suburbs, and they are almost ALL the same all over Melbourne: unemployment, traffic congestion, over developments, shortage of schools, health care, a growth of crime and drugs. Each electorate seems to be coping with similar issues, but on different magnitudes. The one thing that's common to all is population growth - but the public seem to be willing to swallow the inevitability of it all!

While property developers, planners and banks make huge profits, the public are meant to bear the stress and the squeeze of overloaded infrastructure, over-crowding and rising costs of living. There's no parties committed to addressing the population issue - except for Steven Armstrong, Independent in Albert Park but supported by the Sustainable Population Party (SPP).

After the Victoria First/SPA VicTas meeting earlier this year I contacted the major parties regarding their population policies. The Greens are the only party to have a policy which I might add isn't much chop, both Labour and PUP were going to get back to me and of course neither of the Coalition members replied to my request. Many of the problems Melburnians face are the same up the bush: health, education, public transport, emergency services, local government, etc and are often magnified by the tyranny of distance and out of the eye of the mainstream media.

In the electorate where I'm voting, Murray Plains, the incumbent National Party member Peter Walsh, the disgraced Minister for Water, is odds on to get back in. His strongest opposition will probably come from Byron Winn a candidate from Country Alliance and Peter Williams belatedly nominated by Labour. Perennial Greens candidate Ian Christou will stand once again and will be joined by Laurie Wintle Rise Up Australia and Laurie Hicks as an Independent. While I can't see anybody unseating Peter Walsh, a 5% swing against him would be good, a 10% swing would make him take notice. Such is life in a safe Coalition seat.

The Victorian election is being bogged down by fundamental, basic issues of over-development, joblessness, public transport, traffic gridlocks, and all the shortfalls of basic services due to ongoing runaway population growth. While attention is on raising the funds and commitments to address these issues, they distract the public from higher order concerns that we should be voting on!
We should be debating the proposed Great Central National Park, threatened species, food security, climate change, research funding, marine protection, industries, job creation, and higher education!
Another issue largely, and conveniently being ignored, is the homeless! In our frenzy to approve of and build more and more housing, to keep up with socially-engineered demand, the lost are forgotten!
Advocates for the homeless say Victoria needs an extra 50,000 public and community housing properties to meet demand. With housing a major industry, the increasing demand for "affordable housing" has been forgotten!
They said an investment of $200 million a year for the next two decades would be needed to bring Victoria's public housing stocks up to par with the rest of Australia.
Yarra Community Housing reported a 23 per cent increase in requests for crisis accommodation in the last financial year. There are now 22,000 people living on the streets in Victoria and affordable housing is rare. And there is a new class of white-collar homelessness.
More and more people, not traditionally homeless, are being discarded by the real estate Ponzi scheme by not being able to afford rent, or mortgages!
Candidates urged not to forget the homeless in election campaign
Ironically, all the "planning" permits and real estate expansion continues, in a bid to outpace population growth and provide "affordable housing"! It's an oxymoron as our economy has become locked into the housing bubble, and profits from increasingly unaffordable housing - that's why foreign investors have been invited in (too keep the housing prices inflated).