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Time for a complete review of immigration - Sustainable Population Australia

Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) today called on the Federal Government to undertake a complete review of immigration into Australia in light of claims of widespread rorting of the system.

This week, Dr Bob Birrell and Dr Ernest Healy from the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Monash University issued a report called Immigration and Unemployment. In it, they claimed that the Department Of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) had not only issued record number of student visas to people who may not be considered genuine students, but had granted permanent residency to large numbers of skilled migrant applicants who did not have the appropriate skills being claimed.

According to the report, large numbers of cooks and accountants are being issued visas despite there being plenty of local candidates. It called for a halting the recruitment of migrant workers whose occupations are in surplus in Australia or for which there are available resident candidates.

National President of SPA, Ms Jenny Goldie, says both Labor and Liberal Governments have been so focussed on stopping “boat people” they have allowed rorting to continue in the much larger skilled program.

“Related to this is the 12-year high unemployment rate of 6.4 per cent in July,” says Ms Goldie. “Birrell and Healy have revealed that since 2011, migrant workers have taken 380,000 of the 400,000 net jobs growth. Young Australians, in particular, are missing out on jobs with unemployment for 15-24-year-olds hitting 14.1 per cent

The report revealed that visas were issued to 7000 foreign accountants in 2012-13 despite 7200 domestic students completing bachelor or higher degrees in accounting in 2012. The Department of Employment declared there was “a more than adequate supply of accountants”.

“You would think that the respective Ministers for Employment and Immigration would confer occasionally on what was in the best interests of the country, but apparently not,” says Ms Goldie.

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Extract from "The lies driving Big Australia" by Leith van Onselen in Macro Business com au

"A big negative of Australia’s high rate of population growth is that it is placing increasing pressure on the pre-existing (already strained) stock of infrastructure and housing, which reduces productivity and living standards unless costly new investments are made. Further, controversial and expensive investments like desalination plants and road tunnels (e.g. the East-West Link) would arguably not have been required absent such strong population growth.

Further, when infrastructure and housing investment fails to keep up, it places upward pressure on inflation, requiring higher interest rates, which can then damage productive sectors of the economy. As explained in a 2011 speech by the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Phil Lowe (summarised here), these factors were certainly in play in the late-2000s, when rapid population growth placed upward pressure on rents, as well as caused a big surge in utilities prices as the capacity of the system struggled to keep pace with the growing demand, requiring costly new investments.

Ongoing high population growth also places additional strain on the natural environment, causing greater environmental degradation, increasing water scarcity and pollution, and making it more difficult for Australia to reduce its carbon footprint and meet international pollution reduction targets.

A bigger concern is that Australia earns its way in the world mainly by selling its fixed mineral resources (e.g. iron ore, coal, natural gas, and gold). More people means less resources per capita. A growing population also means that we must deplete our mineral resources faster, just to maintain a constant standard of living.

Finally, modelling by the Productivity Commission has also found that immigration is neither beneficial for the economy or living standards, nor can it alleviate the impacts of an ageing population.

All of which raises the question: what is the end-game of Australia’s migration-based economic model?"

Unfortunately, the rest is behind a firewall here: "The lies driving Big Australia" by Leith van Onselen and costs over $100 to subscribe to this new emag. As they point out that is a lot less than the cost of subscribing to the Fin Review - however I can't afford it at the moment. Hope this business mag keeps up this kind of perspective. Local businesses need an alternative to the corporate world rags.

In a complete counter-logical defence of high immigration at a time of heavy unemployment, there's an article that in a crisis we need MORE migrants! It's a "just add people" logic, totally contrary to empirical evidence and any precedent.

He says that the matching up of the jobless numbers with the immigration numbers paints a false picture. It paints migrants as a "burden" to the economy, and is a product of populist unrest! The biggest "burden" to the economy is not migrants, but the "ageing population" - and young migrants are meant to be the solution!

Angela Chan, national president of the Migration Institute of Australia, says that’s just not true. Employers in regional and remote Australia find it extremely difficult to fill positions with workers who have families, homes and lives in our capital cities -- cities that house the unusually high figure of 85 per cent of our population. However, most skilled migrants don't go to regional or remote areas, but settle in the cities of Sydney and Melbourne!

We need more migrants in a crisis, not less (8 Aug) by Rob Burgess in Business Spectator

Would the Migration Institute ever promote leveling off immigration? It's like expecting an egg farmer to recommend eating less eggs.

Heavy immigration is a vain attempt to increase the GDP! It's like force-feeding a sick child, to gain strength when what's needed is optimising of corporate functions and stability. Australia's wealth is being diluted by more and more people to share it with. Per capita gdp has flat-lined in the last decade and many people are facing harsh times. We have increasing costs of housing, food, utilities and more poverty and homelessness. The economy can't be evaluated purely by "jobs" and GDP at the cost of human welfare, crime, intergenerational inequity and the environment.

Japan has an ageing population, yet their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Japan expanded 1.60 per cent in the first quarter of 2014 over the previous quarter. Their lifestyles will improve with time, and their economy is based on productivity, manufacturing exports, high skills and knowledge. These economist see the meta level of figures, and economic data, rather than human welfare, gross employment rates, opportunities for young people, and living standards. The more of us there are, the more our common wealth must be shared.

Even more frightening than the content of such propaganda (Rob Burgess: we need more migrants etc ) is that the mainstream newsmedia actively seek it out and publish it. There is no balance whatsoever. It is just constant repetition of the mantra: growth, growth, growth at any cost to the rest of us. The press publish almost nothing else except subsidiary pillars of propaganda, such as long musings on radio about how new immigrants have a harder time getting employment than ... some other cohort in Australia. No sympathy for the growing unemployment of people born here. Never linked to the growing black economy and misery that more and more Australians are forced to submit to in order to pay the rent to the people who have somehow become our masters. The mainstream press is a kind of Marie-Antoinette press and its owners deserve the same fate as that insensitive and manipulative lady for utterly betraying the people they pretend to inform and entertain. Well, okay, I'm not in favour of the death penalty, but the people in charge of the mainstream newsmedia should be sent to prison along with the people in politics who gave them such immense and unjust power. We have no laws, however, to get that justice.

Well said.One of the many tragedies of our current situation is that those in positions of power have training in law, business or economics, and are blissfully unaware of the ecological predicament Australia and the Earth is in.

If the current rate of population growth in Australia continues, there will be around 45 million people in Australia by mid century. By that time there will be large areas in Southern Australia that are currently important food producing areas, that will have low or zero productivity due to the impacts of climate disruption.

To those who say that that will not be a problem because we can import food, please remember that the whole planet will be experiencing the same problems.

Encouraging more population growth for Australia or the planet is a guaranteed strategy for catastrophe.

The former CSIRO scientist and author of the books, Poisoned Planet and The Coming Famine, shared his thoughts at the 29th International Horticultural Congress (IHC) in Brisbane this week. He painted a grim picture of the human reliance on resource-heavy agriculture and the consumer dependence on a grain-based diet. “Mega cities” would become the future trend, according to Mr Cribb, which cannot feed themselves but rely on a “river of trucks” bringing food in on a daily basis.

With global population almost roughly doubled since 1970, with more people on top of the food chain, the whole food security issue is exacerbated. Today almost a quarter of the world's farm land is affected by serious degradation (FAO 2008), up from 15% two decades ago. By 2050, 7-8 billion people will inhabit the world's cities. They will use about 2800 cubic kilometres of fresh water - more than the whole of irrigation agriculture uses worldwide today.

Cribb says that the central issue for humans in the next 50 years is not climate change or another global financial crisis but whether the world can feed itself. We face, “a looming scarcity of just about everything necessary to produce high yields of food – water, land, nutrients, oil, technology, skills and stable climates”.

Population growth, urbanization and changing consumption patterns will lead to rising demand for food between now and 2050. It is estimated that food production will have to increase by 70 per cent on current levels to meet future food needs. Just how is this 70 per cent increase in food production going to be achieve with less resources? global agriculture will have to produce at least another one billion tonnes of cereal each year and meat production will have to rise by 200 million tonnes. Against a background of growing resource scarcity, this food will have to be produced more "sustainably" and with fewer resources than current practices require. No doubt this means crushing any efforts to secure ethical farming practices with regards to animal welfare! The "ag-gag" are planned to silence activist and hide animal cruelty.

Few people accept the challenge of population overshoot, and a global family planning program. Numbers Ch 11: Where could I get meat to give to all this people? For they weep to me, saying, 'Give us meat, that we may eat.'

I'm sure we can devise a system which will work when every nation is a net food importer. I'm being facetious, but I'm not overly confident that many nations will remain net exporters forever. Universal population growth and universal environmental degradation leads to production on the way down, meeting at some point the demand on the way up, and when they cross paths, watch out!