You are here

Immigration to Australia - more the better... according to Growth Lobby submission on Wikipedia

The Growth Lobby seemed to have gone to some trouble to justify immigration to Australia on Wikipedia. Immigration_to_Australia It seems dated during Rudd's tenure.

The arguments are shallow but useful in gaining an insight into the case for more immigration. The same old pro claims are presented:

Historical Success Claim - Immigration is good for Australia because historically Australia has had continual immigration and this has resulted in a growing economy.

Of course, this economic justification ignores the problems and injustices associated with invasion, convict settlement, colonisation, Aboriginal genocide and widespread deforestation.

It also presumes Australia’s historical circumstances have not changed and that carrying capacity is infinite. It also fails to acknowledge that immigration has concentrated in the Capital Cities of mainly Sydney and Melbourne, to the detriment of rural communities, which has encouraged the development of two Australia’s – an urban one and a rural one, with the bulk of government resources allocated to the urban one.

Skilled Migrants Claim Australian immigration policy is highly focused on encouraging selective skilled immigrants to fill skills shortages.

This argument is contradicted, when it identifies “in March 2009, the Australian Government announced a 14 per cent cut in the 2008-09 permanent skilled migration program intake from 133 500 to 115 000 in response to worsening economic conditions.” This indicates that migration does not encouraged improved economic conditions but exacerbates economic woes.
This argument ignores the 635,000 currently unemployed across Australia. How many of these are immigrants?

Immigration encourages multi-culturalism claim

The settlement patterns of Australian immigration have not been followed up with any programme of assimilation or any concern for demographic planning to avoid ethnic ghettos. As a consequence, instead of a gradual filtering of different ethnic groups across Australian society, each ethnic group has retained ethnicity, ways of life, cultures and values and many ghetto communities have been allowed to form. For example:

* Samoan enclave in Logan City (Brisbane)
* IndoChinese enclaves in Springvale, Richmond, Collingwood and Footscray (Melbourne)
* Korean enclave in Box Hill (Melbourne)
* Turkish enclave in Brunswick (Melbourne)
* Indian enclave in Hawthorn (Melbourne)
* Lebanese enclave in the Bankstown – Lakemba (Sydney)
* Vietnamese enclave in Cabramatta (Sydney)
* Indian enclave around Parramatta (including Harris Park, West Mead) (Sydney)
* Sri Lankan enclave at Strathfield (Sydney)
* Chinese enclave at Epping (Sydney)
* Sudanese enclave in Blacktown (Sydney)
* Malaysian enclave in Willeton (Perth)
* Indian enclave in Canning Vale (Perth)
* Papuan enclave in Cairns (Far North Queensland)

The trends show that these enclaves are being reinforced, rather than there being active assimilation with the broader community by federal immigration. Immigration is state-sanctioned invasion. Responsibly immigration respects local values first and ensures assimilation. Responsible immigration does not stop at the airport arrivals gate.

Immigration does not harm the environment claim
The argument runs that “on a global level immigration does not affect population” – it just redistributes it. Well since Australia is a more attractive destination for living, that redistribution is biased to Australia. Australia has become a melting pot magnet. Once Australia becomes over-crowed that attraction will dissipate but by then it will be too late to change. Forced emigration is not a democratic option, like encouraged immigration is.

The argument relies on the Productivity Commission, which has a mandate to encourage growth, so hardly a reliable source. “The Productivity Commission Inquiry Report No. 28 ‘First Home Ownership’ (2004) also stated, in relation to housing, that “Growth in immigration since the mid-1990s has been an important contributor to underlying demand, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne.”

Counter arguments about aligning population to environmental carrying capacity and the link between population growth and greenhouse gas emissions have been ignored.

Immigration doesn’t reduce housing affordability, rather it drives demand for better quality housing claim No basis is provided for this claim. It suggests migrants have more disposable income than locals which results in better quality housing. If this is true than wealthy migrants are displacing poorer locals.

Immigration raises employment levels for Australians who are relatively unskilled claim
No basis is provided for this claim. If migrants are only filling employment vacancies that cannot be filled by Australians, where are the verifiable statistics? How many recent migrants are in fact unemployed? Why are 635,000 Australian’s unemployed? Why would employers seek foreign workers in favor of local workers if the labour costs are equivalent, given foreign workers have added problems of language conversion, resettlement, cultural assimilation, permanency uncertainty. Why are Australia’s not allowed education opportunities to enable them to meet the local skills needs?

Negative population growth has adverse long-term effects on the economy as the population ages and the labour market becomes less competitive.

Perhaps more Australians would have larger families if the costs of living that existed in the 1950s boom were re-established. Immigration has raised demand, increased scarcity and driven up the cost of living, making large families unaffordable to all but e wealthy.

Immigration decreases unemployment claim This is a complete falsehood. Such a unsubstantiated claim needs more than theoretical regression analysis to even be listened to. While more immigrants will increase demand consumption for goods and services, that will encourage increased employment, if supply exceeded demand then why are process rising and not falling?

Immigration does not necessarily cause an overburden on public infrastructure claim
No basis is provided for this claim. The only justification offered is the biased “Productivity Commission's final research report found that it was not possible to reliably assess the impact of environmental limitations upon productivity and economic growth, nor to reliably attribute the contribution of immigration to any such impact.”

See also: "How the Growth Lobby threatens Australia's future" of 24 Jan 09.


Love your illustration of the tic, Tigerquoll! They are very hard to remove, those parasites. In rare cases their bite can be fatal. Sometimes it just cripples.

I am glad you have started to deal with that biased and unscientific wikipedia page. I recently gave a donation to Wikipedia and would be horrified if I believed that Wikipedia would not allow the Growth Lobby's flimsy propaganda to remain uncountered by the many solid cases put by me, Mark O'Connor, Kelvin Thomson etc as well as you and other contributors to this site.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist

The Federal government has driven the tertiary education sector to the brink in the last decade through continuous budget cuts, forcing universities and colleges to attract more and more overseas students to fill the funding gap left by the government. The government is happy to facilitate this by increasing student visa quotas year after year. To attract the overseas students, the Immigration Department promotes a pathway to citizenship, encouraging applicants to enrol in jobs that are more likely to allow them permanent residency and eventually citizenship. Hundreds of so-called colleges have emerged offering substandard education which in turn lowers the educational standard across the whole sector in Australia. On top of this, the education sector and government have promoted Australia at overseas educational expos as a "safe place" for foreign students when it's barely a safe place for its own citizens. We then have the situation of students walking through deserted suburban parks late at night, or walking around in dangerous high-crime suburbs talking on mobile phones and carrying laptops and then blaming the government when they are mugged or stabbed. I wouldn't partake in such risky behaviour and I think students should be warned that they shouldn't either. These attacks aren't racially motivated, but foreign students have been sold a lie, and the government is running scared that the golden goose might be in trouble if they can't keep selling the lie of a "safe Australia." It's fine for these students to expect to be safe in Australia, they have paid a lot of money to be here. But I pay a lot of tax, one of the highest rates in the Western world, so I want my safety guaranteed as well. It can't just be guaranteed to one group of people because the government and education sector needs their money.

Yesterday, concerned about what's happening in Melbourne, I sent this letter to the Indian High Commissioner in Canberra ..

"Dear Ms Singh,

"I have just heard of another attack upon an Indian student in Melbourne. Such reports sadden me.

"Please do not interpret such attacks as representative of the feelings of the Australian people. Any assumption along these lines would be entirely false.

"Please let it be known in your country that there are fools and criminals in every city, and that ordinary people like me have little or no control over them.

"My own contacts here in Tasmania with persons of Indian origin has always been favourable. I particularly love their gentle nature, their soft voices, their friendly and helpful attitude to me, and their intelligence. I meet such people when I am ill in the Royal Hobart Hospital, and when I need to travel short distances by taxi.

"I regard Indian visitors and residents as worthy people who, by their gentle nature and good example, are beneficial to Australia. I know that many Australians need lessons in gracious conduct.

"Please encourage your countrymen to keep a proper and balanced perspective on events unworthy of Australia which are mindlessly inflicted by fools upon those who have done no wrong.

"I am concerned that if India over-reacts to news of these events then these over-reactions will themselves cause damage to Indian-Australian relationships.

"India should rightly condemn the perpetrators of crimes against Indians - but not the Australian people in general. We do not deserve this. It would be wrong of India to condemn us all.

"My best wishes to you.

"Peter Bright

Dear Dr. Manmohan Singh (Prime Minister of India),

Before you cast dispersions upon countries like Australia hosting and facilitating your nationals, have some thought to your own country's prejudice of its own citizens. Indians in caste houses....

As you will be well aware, India maintains a record of racial discrimination against its own people under an archaic caste system. India's treatment of its labelled 'Untouchables' or 'Dalits' has been described by some authors as "India's hidden apartheid". Representing about 15 percent of India's population—or some 160 million people—the widely scatter Dalits endure near complete social isolation, humiliation, and discrimination based exclusively on their birth status. Even a Dalit's shadow is believed to pollute the upper classes. They may not cross the line dividing their part of the village from that occupied by higher castes, drink water from public wells, or visit the same temples as the higher castes. Dalit children are still often made to sit in the back of classrooms.

India's perpetuation of its caste system is one of exploitation of poor low-ranking groups by more prosperous high-ranking groups. In many parts of India, land is largely held by high-ranking property owners of the dominant castes that economically exploit low-ranking landless labourers and poor artisans, all the while degrading them with ritual emphases on their so-called god-given inferior status.

India should rightly condemn the perpetrators of crimes against Indians but firstly of Indian crimes against its own Indians.

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885

That's a good letter Tiger, and I am wondering if you actually sent it to India's Prime Minister.

Perhaps you'll receive a prompt reply as I did from India's High Commissioner (see above) in Canberra ..

"Dear Mr. Bright,

"Thank you for your message of concern. We appreciate your sentiments of sympathy and support.

"Best Wishes,

"Sujatha Singh,
High Commissioner,

PS: We have a caste system here in Australia too, but it's kept rather quiet. It's called "Bosses and Workers."

Hang on, everyone. Isn't this stuff about harassment of Indian students just a beat-up? (I mean apart from government and business exploitation?) I thought that there was no evidence that the recent murder - as awful as it was - had any racial motive. Or have I missed something recent in the news?

I have to say that I think most of the news reporting about the murder has a total beat-up and really inconsiderate of the deceased friends and families.

I don't understand why the Indian government is behaving as if this is racist either.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist

Have a look at comment No. 9 (London Times). Especially the end piece.

"Migration threatens the DNA of our nation" of 7 Jan 10 (with sub-heading: "If we are to stop the extreme Right, we must respond to real fears over the number and nature of those coming to Britain").

Jim Smith wrote:

In any host community anywhere in the world, there are a number of issues which cause resentment. Firstly - language. Language is one of the primary nation-defining factors. No nation should offer as a norm its functions being translated into the multitude of languages of immigrants. ALL education should be in the language of the host country. ALL local business should be conducted in the language of the host community. It is the duty of immigrants to speak the language of their hosts, not the reverse!

Only bona fide refugees should be able to claim benefits of ANY kind from the host nation. Only after a lengthy period of years contributing taxes, should there be an entitlement to benefits.

January 7, 2010 7:59 AM G

Since this item is at the top of the list, and very topical I just want to say that I think Jim has hit on something here.

I have to wonder why the word Racist! is bawled out at every opportunity, when it seems clear to me that 'host communities anywhere in the world' - would feel resentment for having to 'adapt' to language, educational, business, morals, religion, interference, etc and for having their resentment manipulated into compliance in order to facilitate new arrivals.

'Guests' to one's own home don't get to 'own' the home they're arriving at, and usually - even in todays ever-decreasing standards - guests in the home have the good grace and manners to 'observe' the do's and don'ts of the host's household.

Ethnicity not reported in crimes

A key problem we have is the lack of clarity in reporting. Like the taboo of suicide, media don't report the ethnicity of people involved in crimes, except they manage to leak out 'Indian' when public attention is stirred by the issue - which of late is the Indian student one.

If the media did report ethnicity, would we be hearing more about ethnic tensions? Would much of the reported crimes and violence be associated with people of the same ethnic origin or between ethnic groups? This may allow the public to form a more informed view.

On the other hand, if the police statistics show no correlation between cirmes and ethnicity, then Acting PM Gillard's recent views hold, that crimes occur in big cities all around the world regardless of ethnicity and this includes Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

My view is that there are more ethnicity based crimes than go reported.
This is not the fault necessarily of the ethnic groups themselves, but the dire circumstances they are in due to our federal goverment's neglect.

Lack of Assimilation Commitment is the problem

If new guests to a host country chose not to assimilate with the host community, are they really treating that host community with contempt? Not learning the local language, not adopting the local customs, not participating in the local culture and ways of life, not sending one's children to the locals schools, etc, etc etc is cause for concern as to what purpose a guest newcomer has in the host country. Citizens of any country have rights and obligations. If they chose not to become citizens, that have the same rights as foreigners, or guests is probably a better term. Once someone adopts citizenship rights and obligations as an Australian take immediate effect. But the righst to citizenship should require proof of assimilation. The test of assimilation should be based on a points system like proving identity. One hundred points will entitled a new arrival the privilege to apply for citizenship.

Language, education, financial means, work status, local community involvement, and other factors would contibute to the 100 points.
Any special transitional compensation needs to be temporary and conditional on assimilation. Rejection of assimilation should preclude citizenship.

Australian Government policy needs to review the enclave characteristics of its immigration and the impacts thsi is having on Australia.

On the other side of the coin, try imposing Australian values and customs walking around the streets of muslim Yemen, such as a young woman in a bikini drinking a beer from a stubbie and see how far you get!

The problem is one of sheer volume

Australia has many immigrants from all nationalities. Not a problem. But when 5000 Indians turn up in the country town of Griffith, when the local population is just 25,000, impacts are bound to occur. The cuse is not the newcomers themselves, but Federal Government policy that:

(1) Cuts government funding to universities like CSU in Griffith, so that to survive universities are frced to rely on revenuess from overseas students

(2) Encourages international students to come to Australia with added incentives of streamlining immigration on completionof study

(3) Targets one ethic group - i.e Indians

The Rudd Government should have enough consultants to tell it is is digging its own ethnic tension hole. And Rudd "makes no apology..."

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885

India keeps lambasting Australia about the treatment of Indian students. Even when it's shown that the general public is pretty tolerant and racism isn't a great issue between Australians and Indians, the Indian and Australian government continue to make a big deal out of nothing.
But why do they engage in such a slanging match?
Some have suggested it has something to do with the uranium issue.
But what about this issue:
India is hosting the Commonwealth Games and - as one Time journalist suggested - with their less than Prussian discipline, they may have difficulty delivering.
I vaguely recall that some time ago Brumby offered to host the Games here if India can't do it and/or they have security problems. Now that must have dented their pride.
Are they now trying to tell the world Melbourne is not safe either?

The Australian Government has reasons of revenue and future revenue to appease India. Many Australian universities are highly dependent on Indian students for full fare paying revenue since the Howard government stripped universities of education funding from our taxes. Taxpayers should be demanding to know where that tertiary funding has since gone and why.

The Rudd government sees India as Australia's key future trading partner economically and so this is the main reason for Rudd wanting to appease India concerns about ethnic violence in Australia targeting Indians.

Rudd has visited India twice as PM. He flew to New Delhi on 10th November 2009, to improve ties and repair reputation damage following publicised attacks on Indian student and associated street protests by Indian students.

It makes sense that Australia develops trade ties with India, especially to spread Australia's trade beyond its current overdependency on China.

But before jumping to blaming the violence on racism, both Australian and Indian publics shoudl be demanding the objective facts. Problem is that Australia's mainstream media does not report race or ethnicity with its reporting of crime. Some how it treats this as racist rather than factual.
What was the ethnicity of the 4 men who set alight the Indian man in Melbourne's inner west suburb of Footscray on 8 January?

Many drive by shootings, stabbings, home invasions and other crimes typically in the big Australian cities of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane involve ethnic Australians. Recently there has been a spate of identify theft involving ethnic Chinese on temporary visas or student visas, but the mainstream media does not report the race or ethnicity. Many crimes against Indias are perpetrated by other Indians, bu the mainstream media press does not tell us this.

So Aussies cop the race card because of the media's misinformation.
Don't get me wrong. Many birth Australians perpetrate crimes and are convicted. The problem is when on birth Australians (ethnic Australians) commit crimes, their race and ethnicity is hushed up by the mainstream media.

The media also avoid the obvious positive correlation between urban ethnic enclaves and the rate of crime, especially those enclaves that are relatively new (less than 10 years old).

Mass immigration has created these ethnic enclaves so Rudd should not be surprised. Rudd shoudlo start listening to independent sociologists more than his short termism economists and is quarterly key performance indicators.
The media also need a head rethink away from pure economic data and toward long term social science data.

Also, is it any wonder why Australian prison population statistics do not disclose ethnicity?

Facts are what are missing from the mainstream media hype. But then investigative journalism costs money.

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885

I live in Merrylands in Sydney. On any trip to the shops in Parramatta or Merrylands groups of people speaking in their native language and it is unusual to hear people speaking English. I have no idea what these people are saying and could be saying anything about me or my family - it makes me feel like a stranger in the country I was born in. My son has been teased because he is so "white" which is not considered racist but if he teased someone because of the colour of their skin he would be labeled as racist. This does cause problems as people feel they have no rights and have to be constantly politically correct. Racism occurs in every society and quite often the ones who complain the most are the most racist themselves and feel they should have special treatment.

A sense of home is where one feels one belongs, safe, with others of shared values. Harmony in a community develops over time after individuals get acquainted through trial and error learning likes and dislikes, social mores, taboos, preferred behaviour and the idiosyncracies that make up the character of a neighbourhood. It takes time.

But changes such as a new neighbour and a new construction take time to re-establish the social harmony. When others arrive with different values, a natural sense of unease is felt by the locals, simply initially due to the change itself and the uncertainty. When a new neighbour moves in to the community, one feels obliged to make that person feel welcome. It takes time to get to know strangers and to each they are respectively strangers. It takes years sometimes. Gradually, as contact is repeated and ideas exchanged, the strangeness and the uncertainty erodes and assimilation restores the harmony. The greater the discernable difference a newcomer is to the locals, the more difficult and longer it takes to assimilate. It takes time.

But when many newcomers arrive in a short space of time, the change is too much too soon. Insufficient time has been made to enable locals and the newcomers to meet, get acquainted and for the newcomers to learn about the social mores - i.e. assimilate. Locals observe changes occurring to their surrounds and to their way of life. These changes are occurring without local consultation.

Humans, like all mammals are instinctively territorial and when that territory is taken by strangers, humans feel threatened. Locals naturally feel threatened when many strangers turn up in the local patch. The greater the difference the strangers are to the locals the more the sense of threat. Many strangers of the same type can feel like a pack invasion. If thirty men wearing the same team shirt walked toward a couple of locals in the street, those locals would naturally feel threatened. If they had different shirts, the threat would be less.

It isn't the place of origin of the new arrivals per se, but the sheer volume. Compounding the change is the lack of assimilation. Newcomers by habit continue to do what they did in their place of origin. If no-one tells them any different, newcomers continue to consolidate their original culture in the new place. They speak their original language, follow the same customs and keep to themselves because it is easier, more comfortable and less threatening to mix with one's own kind. When their numbers gain a level of inertia, they feel comfortable perpetuating their customs and get a sense of righteousness in doing so.

All the while, such newcomers are rejecting a sense of respect for the status quo rights of the incumbent residents. Newcomers start off as guests. Guests have rights and obligations which should be tempered.

The timeless idiom 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do' applies to visitors in a new place. When one is visiting a new place, one ought try to do as the people do who are from the place. This implies trying to speak the local language, eat the local foods, conduct oneself as the locals do. Western women in Saudi Arabia should respect Islamic custom by wearing a head scarf (called 'hijab'). Similarly, Islamic custom requires all men to cover themselves 'from the navel to the knees.' Western visitors could try not doing so but wouldn't last 5 minutes on the streets. It is not to say the custom is right or wrong, but it is the local custom and warrants respect.

People from different places have different ways of acting, so it is important to try to do things the way people do who are from the place that you are visiting.

As the numbers of newcomers grow the start to dominate and eventually outnumber the local population. It leads to the locals feeling justifiably that their home has been changed, their familiar environment is altered, strangers speaking strange languages have taken over, and a sense of disenfranchisement emerges. Once the numbers of newcomers outnumber the locals and start buying up real estate and replacing local businesses, many locals will reach a sense of isolation and move out.

With the sheer numbers of new arrivals, demand for property exceeds supply driving up property prices. The property industry benefits and communicates their pleasure to the government so the government responds with more immigration. This is what is being repeated across the inner suburbs of Australian capital cities. It is Australian displacement. It is why Melbourne's Mornington Peninsula has seen translocation of locals from inner suburbs of Melbourne 'taken over' by one or two ethnic new arrivals. It is why many locals in Sydney's western suburbs have translocated to the Central Coast and even beyond into Queensland.

Outnumbering causes displacement. It is what is happening in Parramatta.

Subject was: "John Marlowe's comment" - JS

John you have hit the nail on the head that is exactly what's happening and exactly how I and many others feel - like we are being pushed out of our homes and isolated. This is not the way for society to assimilate. Isn't this why many people came here in the first place - for a better life - quite ironic isn't it.