Innes Willox, the Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group or AIGroup, aims to bolster the economy by resurrecting the discredited mass-immigration agenda. His group has been described as: A leading organisation representing business in a broad range of sectors including manufacturing, defence, ICT and labour hire, by the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council (accessed 1 September 2020), which lists him, among other positions, as “Board Member of Migration Council of Australia,” and notes that he “was Chief of Staff to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, from 2004 to 2006.”
To appreciate the agenda, in the article, Migration, tax reform a key to revival, (Geoff Chambers, The Australian, 24 August 2020). Chambers wrote that the Australian Industry Group was calling for “a long-term, systematic shake-up of the tax system focused upon the removal of the worst taxes.”
But the overriding aspect of AIGroup’s push requires the Federal government to achieve,“An increase of the migration cap.”
Innes Willox, repeats his decades-long mantra:
“Restore the migration cap to 190,000 places a year and [furthermore] move to [implement] a growth rate target for annual permanent migration [levels, because] migration was critical to Australian prosperity.”
Willox and, indeed, that coterie of like-minded Big Australia cohorts, construe that merely importing copious numbers of immigrants will bolster ‘demand’. Therefore, the sacrosanct supply and demand factors which economic-rationalists embrace, will summarily kick-in - and boost economic growth. It all seems so straightforward and logical.
There’s nothing there about what might happen when these immigrant groups become so large that they could use their numbers to establish political entities to organise for their own benefit and possibly against Australia’s!
Of course, this disaster already seems obvious to many. Rancour inside the major parties shows it. In Victoria an Indian woman in the Liberal Party has established a ‘religious Right’ faction based on certain migrant groups. In South Australia a Chinese woman and upper-house MP is openly advocating for China and Chinese migrants. Are we surprised?
Without doubt, Innes Willox and Co would gloat about this scenario, as being culturally diverse and enriching. When, in fact, what it really is cultural separatism; if not downright divisive. And this is evident in that, outside workplace requirements, many in the array of ethnocultural groups in Australia, rarely interact with those outside of their cultural-bubbles. Except, perhaps, as Clive Hamilton, in Silent Invasion: China's Influence in Australia, argues, they seek to flatter and influence people holding political and business positions.
At any rate, Australia’s Prime Minister has reacted, introducing legislation requiring Federal oversight of any agreements with foreign powers/investments: “The government will introduce legislation next week empowering the foreign affairs minister to review and cancel agreements – such as Victoria’s decision to sign up to China’s belt and road initiative – if the commonwealth judges the arrangement adversely affects Australia’s foreign relations.” See, Victorian premier defends China deal as PM pushes to override state pacts with foreign nations. On the other side of the coin, many Australians continue to worry about Australia’s role as an international deputy to the United States war machine. (See, for instance, The Independent and Peaceful Australian Network, “Don’t buy into war.”). Most of us can probably agree that we would rather be independent and sovereign.
In past times, advocates of open-door immigration programs claimed this would enrich Australia. Alas, what has transpired is that immigrants had arrived in such droves, over the past decade, that they have rapidly displaced established Anglo-Celtic-European ethnicities from scores of suburbs in Sydney and Melbourne. The end result more closely resembles a collection of peoples, with diverse national or ethnic allegiances, rather than those of what once-was, termed ‘mainstream Australia’.
Further, over the past few months, we’ve seen the Big Australia advocates, like Willox and the AiGroup, calling for the government to fast-track international students in Australia from temporary migrants to permanent residents, as the stepping stone to fill job requirements. The effect of this would be to counter the drop in immigrant numbers which has followed from COVID-19 closing the borders to foreigners. What manner of gross-insanity exists here, with them demanding international students fill the void, when unemployment presently stands at 14% and underemployment is at a comparable percentage?
Willox reportedly purports that
”Immigration was critical to Australian prosperity and the pandemic has necessarily constrained inward immigration, but Australia would need to think long and hard before any decision [was made] to sustain lower levels over a longer term and the reduction in permanent migration visas had contributed to a reliance on temporary migration flows, dominated by students and backpackers. (”Coronavirus: migration, tax reform ‘key to recovery’”.)
Clearly, what Willox and AiGroup’s long-term migration strategy entails is summed up in the following two statements:
“[Australia’s future prosperity] would be enhanced by moving to an annual growth rate target for annual permanent migration that is linked to [the] national labour market growth, instead of a fixed quota number.”
“The changed outlook for immigration has huge implications for many industries, especially of immigration in housing and construction, which have been fueled by high levels both permanent and temporary levels.”[Emphasis added]
Well, taking into account that immigration intakes into Australia between January 2014 until June 2019 were, comparatively, 2.25 times higher than that of the US, prompts these queries:
If, as Willox and his cohorts claim mass-immigration makes Australia richer, then how come we are the most indebted society in the world? Surely, if the theory espoused by Willox and all of the Big Australia Brigadistâs is correct then prices/costs should, at the very least, be stagnant? Unlike as over these past 75 months during an era of huge immigration levels - since the LNP won office in September 2013 - house prices have increased by 60%, but wages only rose 15%?
Clearly, in spite of the relentless-claims made by the Big Australia Brigade, open-door immigration into Australia, hasn’t made us wealthier at all. These policies have actually encumbered the country with the exact opposite scenario. Alas, in spite of this situation being indisputable, we yet again find lobbyists like Willox calling for the government to resurrect those failed schemes.
But Willox is so concerned about the decline in building, if immigration is not increased, talking of:
“[…]The huge implications for many industries, particularly housing and construction.”
And it is the housing/construction sector interests that expose precisely what the whole Big Australia agenda is built upon. Excessive numbers of highly compliant immigrants will fall for the con-trick of borrowing big sums of money to buy a property. This will sustain the huge Ponzi-scheme.
Australia is now wallowing in crisis but those with the money are pushing for a new round of lunacy in furthering the disaster dumped upon Australians.