After John Howard followed up on the Kennett-led destruction of state awards, with his Corporations and Work Choices legislation, the floodgates were opened for mass import of cheap labour. Before that, it simply did not pay to import cheap labour to Australia, because it was too hard for employers to escape the enforcement of industry awards at State, and, to a lesser extent, Federal level. It was for this reason that Australia had, 'til then, escaped the widespread scourg
The Honourable Jeff Kennett AC, former Victorian Liberal Premier, promotes multiculturalism. In particular in public, “Multiculturalism is good for jobs.” But he had never revealed other reasons. Speaking to a well-heeled audience of Melbourne’s planning elite - another group keen on high immigration for the increased housing demand - he said more. He disclosed that he has a low opinion of Australian workers, and so prefers migrants instead. They work harder, for less; so they are better for businesses.
He said these things all of two years ago. Yet his remarks have not reached the media. Such silence is all the more surprising as Jon Faine, influential host of ABC Melbourne morning radio, was the MC at the event.
At the time Kennett spoke, there were seven hundred thousand unemployed in Australia and a further million underemployed by their own say so. In Australia, 28 per cent of people were born overseas. So we might pause to wonder, when, if ever, those of a neoliberal persuasion think our high overseas migration - providing 60% of Melbourne’s over the last 20 years, from Kennett’s 1990’s - should taper down. Neoliberal here means those who govern for the benefit of big business first; everyone else should just get out of the way.
He made some further remarks on wider subjects that illuminate other motivations.
Jeff Kennett - Thursday 18th September 2014, VPELA  Barber Lecture, Melbourne
On Australian workers . . .
“We [and he meant Australians] are lazy and don’t want to work, especially on the dole.”
“We only want to work a five-day week, and then we want a flex day every fortnight.”
“We won’t move to where the jobs are - apart from the fly flo people.”
"We live here, do not want to work and want everything to be given to us."
Complaining of how much Australians expect to be paid he told the audience of remarks made to him at a BCA event. Heinz moved their [tomato sauce] manufacturing from Victoria where workers cost $44.50 an hour to New Zealand because there they cost only $22 an hour. A month after Kennett spoke, Heinz laid off another 245 workers from NZ and New Guinea anyway.
“Companies have every right to 457s ” and he would like to see more of them. [He did not say why and the impression left was for the reasons he gave earlier.]
In answer to an audience question about welcoming immigration of the poor, he said, “While some say we can't support them I favour higher immigration rates and yes, of the poor.” [Again, without further explanation, than what he had said earlier.]
On wider subjects…
Kennett referred to Australia as “our vast empty land”. We should “Look at southern China” with the lesson for us to “Build it and they will come.” And, “If we all moved to Tasmania, we could not even defend that island from our [deliberately inaudible, two word, mumble] neighbours.” Perhaps Jon Faine will tell us one day, what Kennett actually said here.
Kennett particularly welcomed foreign ownership of Melbourne real estate, because “These people are our protection.” and “These people are active, they add value”.
“We lack the desire to develop assets. We are lethargic.”
And later, for those who do want to develop assets, then everyone else, he said with frustrated emphasis, should “Get out of the WAY!”. [Those frustrated at over development in Melbourne, might be surprised to know that their Council Planning Scheme has been dictated, from Kennett’s time, by State Government. All those council planning controls to protect your amenity, were just annoying red tape to Kennett.]
As to leadership there was the strange remark not to tell your team when to stop. “Let them decide for themselves when they have arrived.”
On disclosing true policy before an election. He referred back to the lead up to the 2013 Federal election where both sides had promised not to raise GST and continued: "Don't promise not to do things. Say, what you will do or say nothing. Saying you won’t removes levers".
End of Kennett quotes.
The Hon Jeff Kennett AC gave the inaugural VPELA Barber Lecture, entitled 'Resilience, democracy and creating a globally competitive future for Victoria’ on Thursday evening, 18th September 2014 at The Arts Centre, Melbourne.
 VPELA is the Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association - a planning professionals group. The talk was sponsored by property developers Urbis. The Links and Affiliations of VPELA are:
Australian Population Institute
Association of Consulting Surveyors
Department of Planning and Community Development
Environment Protection Authority Victoria
National Environmental Law Association
NELA’s Environmental Law Digest
Planning Institute Australia
Urban Development Institute of Australia
Video inside: The Kennett era in Victoria represented a neoliberal makeover of government, state and local. Swept to power during a global property collapse in 1992, the Liberal premier imposed radical and rapid transformation without electoral platform or forewarning. It was a classic case of the international phenomenon documented by Naomi Klein in Shock Doctrine. This talk focuses on the transformation of the core municipality of greater Melbourne – the Melbourne City Council in its historic context. It was disempowered and its citizens disenfranchised between 1992-9 to give the Growth Machine of property interests and state government free rein. That Machine emerged from the mid 1970s, being reinforced under the previous Labor government, 1982-92, as the manufacturing sector was phased out federally; cranes on the skyline was Premier Cain’s catchcry. Kennett capitalized on a political and institutional tradition in which property interests (entrenched in the Victorian Legislative Council) dominated from inception. Other Australian colonies were founded by government rather than land seekers.
This speech was given at the SPAVICTAS AGM at Ross House on 5 September 2015. The speech is based on Dr Munro's PhD, downloadable from http://www.canberra.edu.au/researchrepository/items/daa21f8b-4758-410c-954a-a6409d3fdaca/1/ as .pdf of 3.44MB. Dr Munro mentions, as a contrast to Kennett's notion of 'commonsense', Thomas Payne's book, "Commonsense", which was banned in Britain and became immensely popular. (Download a free copy here.)
Video inside: This article is the text of a speech by Sheila Newman about how Kennett Government policies pushed up population growth in Victoria and Australia. Whilst many people remained for a long time under the impression that immigration numbers were a Federal domain, he began the practise of using regional migration definitions to attract people to urban Melbourne. He also de-toothed Victorian industrial law, affecting wages, condition and enforcement. The new interpretation of regional migration was adapted by other States and territories. Kennett's attack on Victorian industrial laws would ultimately pave the way for Workchoices and a much less effective system for ensuring that imported workers were not paid less than Australians, creating a new pull-factor in Australia.
Regional migration under Kennett
This is the text of a speech given to SPAVICTAS AGM 2015.
Way under the radar of the general public, the Kennett Government (1992-1999) began a practice of using the rural category of ‘region in need of migration’ to reclassify Melbourne itself.
Melbourne was thus reclassified a regional migration area by the Kennett Government in 1998, which meant it became a destination for people who traditionally migrated to country regions under softer entry rules. 
Regional migration categories permitted easier entry for immigrants. Rural employers could sponsor workers for positions they claimed they were unable to fill, with fewer tests than urban employers and immigrants coming in under classical federal schemes. They could also sponsor a wider range of family reunion, such as nephews, to work in family businesses. 
The trend that Kennett started was imitated by the other States. Over time all the other states also declared their CBDs in need of immigration under regional migration rules. This was the time of the rise of the internet. Before this time, immigration had been a long drawn out process that was hard for individuals to initiate or get approval for. Now Australian States started up state Immigration websites advertising state and private sponsorship of immigrant workers and their families. Currently, these include:
In Victoria, liveinvictoria.gov.com.au; Note that the Victorian government has just changed the name of their liveinvictoria.gov.au website to https://liveinmelbourne.vic.gov.au/. Probable reason is that they know people are onto the old site.
in WA www.migration.wa.gov.au;
South Australia, migration.sa.gov.au;
in Queensland, migration.qld.gov.au;
Northern Territory, australiasnorthernterritory.com.au; Tasmania, migration.tas.gov.au
Kennet was congratulated by people in favour of high Migration for having increased migration to the regions and reversed the long-term trend of migration out of Victoria, much of it to Queensland.
This perception was criticised because the so-called ‘regional migrants’ mostly ended up in urban Melbourne. 
Nonetheless, I would make the following case that these migration policies and several of Jeff Kennett’s other policies were a major factor in creating conditions which would set Australian on a terrible path to rapid and uncontrolled mass migration.
Kennet’s changes to industrial law made it easier to import cheap labour
Before the Kennett government, most Victorian wage earners worked under state awards which prescribed minimum conditions and wages, including holidays, benefits and penalties for an extensive range of employment roles. Any employee could look these up or have them explained easily by the Victorian Industrial Relations Commission, through a hotline called Wageline – where I worked. But in 1993, the Kennett Government abolished the Victorian Industrial Relations Act, replacing it with the weaker and harder to enforce, and poorly staffed, Employee Relations Act. 
Other Australian states imitated this initiative.
Unions scrambled to cover employees by registering new awards under Federal law, under s.51(xxxv) of the Australian constitution. These awards, however, had to be negotiated between individual organisations and their employees. Their enforcement was very limited under the Federal constitution. They were mostly inaccessible and incomprehensible for individual employees.
This right-wing revolution in Victorian industrial law under Kennett in 1993 set the scene for Workchoices under the John Howard government, (11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007). The Howard Government, entering this weakened industrial law and industrial relations situation, went on to widen the use of the corporations clause in the Australian constitution, which exempted corporations from many employer obligations. 
Up until now Australian employers had not had much to gain by importing immigrant workers because they had been required to employ them under the same industrial awards as native born workers. That meant that there was not the same opportunity to import cheap labour as there was, notoriously, in the United States.
Today we are in a situation where the Australian labour market has been greatly deregulated and it is now possible to employ overseas immigrants according to individually tailored employment contracts where they have little or no bargaining power or recourse for legal protection.
Coupled with the deregulation of immigration, this has created local pull factors which the Australian growth lobby has been keen both to lobby for and to exploit.
Deregulation of housing market and Rise of the Internet as factors
Two further processes have helped to expand the trends that Jeff Kennett’s actions set in motion. These further processes were:
- Deregulation of the Australian housing market to permit overseas purchase and investment
- The rise of the internet, which was exploited by state governments, private migration agents in conjunction with employers; universities seeking students; and property financiers, conveyancers, developers and real-estate agencies, to globalise Australian employment, public institutions, universities, and property.
Steve Bracks and John Brumby would continue Kennett’s big population campaign, despite the different brand presentations of their politics.
Was Kennett aware of his contribution to setting in motion Australia’s unfortunate population tsunami? He was a great population growth spruiker and had served formally as Minister for Housing, Immigration and Ethnic Affairs in 1981 under the Hamer government. He has made many public declarations on his perception that very high immigration is desirable.
In The Age in March 1998, the following businessmen and politician argued that population growth was desirable and inevitable: Tony Berg, then Chief Executive Officer of Boral Industries (building materials and components) and still, in 2001, director of numerous banking, insurance and property trust related groups and holdings, and the Midland Brick Company; Jeff Kennett, populationnist Premier of Victoria (who presided over a developmentalist Ministry for Planning and Infrastructure which decreased housing lot sizes under a code and administration largely unresponsive to public outrage), and Phil Ruthven, who again claimed that by the end of the 21st century Australia's population would be 150 million.
An article in Civil Engineers Australia – December 1998, entitled, “Big Population Growth Needed, Forum Told – enVision ’98 Conference", reported speakers for high immigration and a big population. Among them were Tony Berg, Jeff Kennett, Alan Stockdale, Treasurer of the Kennett Victorian Liberal Government, Dr Jack Wynhoven, chairman of the enVision 98 organising committee and chief executive officer of Connell Wagner (Engineering and major infrastructure projects) and John White, chief executive officer of Richard Pratt's Visy [Paper and Packaging but also manufacturers of Visy board, a building material] Industries. (Pratt was Vice President of the Victorian Chamber of Manufactures and has extensive involvement in business.)
The theme of needing a big population in order to repel invaders remains popular. In "More Migrants, Pleads Kennett", by Christine Jackman in the Melbourne Herald Sun, 12/2/1999, Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett was quoted telling "a New York business lunch" that "Australia's population was so low it would not even be able to defend Tasmania", attacking immigration levels as "almost negligible".... and underestimating them at "about 60,000 a year." (Source of quote is Sheila Newman, The Growth Lobby and its Absence, Chapter 6, http://tinyurl.com/p4ykwup)
The following graphs show interstate migration trends over the period discussed
 State Government spokesman, Jeremi Moule, 2003, cited in Catherine Best, “Culture shock strikes region,” The Courier, Fairfax regional media, December 12, 2003, http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/577142/culture-shock-strikes-region/
 “Persons sponsored by relatives in the SDAS visa subclasses currently receive concessions in two ways: no points test to pass and a lower English language threshold criterion. More than half of those visaed are being sponsored by relatives living in Melbourne. Given that the underlying reason for providing points concessions is to attract persons to locations where the Government is anxious to promote settlement (notably regional locations) there does not seem to be any rationale for Melbourne to continue as a designated area in the SDAS visa subclass.” Evaluation of the General Skilled Migration Categories, Dept of Immigration, March 2006, by Bob Birrell et al, “Evaluation of the General Skilled Migration Categories,” Dept of Immigration, March 2006, p.178. http://www.flinders.edu.au/sabs/nils-files/reports/GSM_2006_Full_report.pdf
The Skilled Regional (489) visa is a provisional skilled migration visa that can provide a pathway to permanent residence. The visa is administered by the Commonwealth Government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). Prior to applying for this visa you must be nominated by a state or territory government, or sponsored by an eligible relative living in Australia.
The Victorian Government offers state nomination under the Skilled Regional (489) visa for highly skilled and eligible professionals and tradespeople who want to work in regional Victoria. Source: . [Last accessed on 27 September 2015]. More general visas on that page : http://www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au/visas-and-immigrating/state-nomination#.Vd_lAys_i1Q .
 John O'Leary, “The Resurgence of marvellous Melbourne - trends in Population distribution in Victoria, 1991-1996,” People and Place, Vol.7,no.1 and Catherine Best, “Culture shock strikes region,” The Courier, Fairfax regional media, December 12, 2003, http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/577142/culture-shock-strikes-region/)
 My reference is personal experience in the Victorian Department of Labor at the time, and, Richard Tracey, “Standing Fast, Federal Regulation of Industrial Relations in Victoria,” H.R. Nicholls Society, http://archive.hrnicholls.com.au/archives/vol14/vol14-3.php]
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WorkChoices: “Relying on the corporations power of Section 51(xx) of the Constitution, the Howard Government extended the coverage of the federal industrial relations system to an estimated 85% of Australian employees. All employees of "constitutional corporations" (i.e. trading, financial, and foreign corporations) became covered by the WorkChoices system. Other constitutional powers used by the Federal Government to extend the scope of the legislation included the territories power to cover the Australian territories, including the external territories of the Christmas and Cocos Islands, the external affairs power, the interstate and overseas trade and commerce power, and the powers of the Commonwealth to legislate for its own employees. Victoria voluntarily had referred its industrial relations powers to the Commonwealth in 1996, under Section 51(xxxvii) of the Constitution.”
 The Age, 16 March, 1999, "Kennett calls for big rise in migrant intake", Cited in Sheila Newman, The Growth Lobby and its Absence, Chapter 6, http://researchbank.swinburne.edu.au/vital/access/manager/Repository/swin:7395 (with appendices) or (without appendices) http://tinyurl.com/p4ykwup
 Miles Lewis, Suburban Backlash, Bloomings Books, Victoria, Australia, 1999, p.viii. Cited in Sheila Newman, The Growth Lobby and its Absence, Chapter 6, http://researchbank.swinburne.edu.au/vital/access/manager/Repository/swin:7395 (with appendices) or (without appendices) http://tinyurl.com/p4ykwup Cited in Sheila Newman, The Growth Lobby and its Absence, Chapter 6, http://researchbank.swinburne.edu.au/vital/access/manager/Repository/swin:7395 (with appendices) or (without appendices) http://tinyurl.com/p4ykwup
 “Trevor Sykes, The Bold Riders, Allen and Unwin, St. Leonards, New South Wales, Second Edition, 1996, (Year 2000 reprint), p.337 mentions that Pratt controlled Regal Insurance and Occidental Insurance in the late 1980s and was one of the funders of a shelf company called Bacharach Pty Ltd, which corporate cowboy, Abe Goldberg, used to purchase Brick and Pipe Industries, which he believed to be an unrealised land bank. Additional information about business interests was obtained from the Business Who's Who of Australia, Dun and Bradstreet Marketing P/L, 35th Edition, 2001.” Cited in Sheila Newman, The Growth Lobby and its Absence, Chapter 6, http://researchbank.swinburne.edu.au/vital/access/manager/Repository/swin:7395 (with appendices) or (without appendices) http://tinyurl.com/p4ykwup
 Christine Jackman, "More Migrants, Pleads Kennett", Melbourne Herald Sun, 12/2/1999, p.16.
UPDATE 29 September 2015, Click here for video of speech.SPAVicTas AGM, 5 September 2015, Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, 4th Floor Conference Room: 1.45 for 2pm. Speaker: Dr Angela Munro, Public Policy expert: "Kennett's 'commonsense revolution' and the Melbourne 'growth machine'. "The unilateral substitution of an appointed commission for the elected Melbourne City Council in October, 1993 by the incoming, neoliberal Victorian Government, was followed by its disempowerment as a democratic institution before reinstatement in emasculated form in 1996. The resounding defeat of the Labor government, in 1992, coincided with an unprecedented global property collapse whose cataclysmic economic and political consequences in Melbourne were conducive to this marginalisation of the City Council and citizenry. A historic dual conflict over the governance and development of central Melbourne between the Victorian Government and the City Council on the one hand, and between central city property interests and citizenry on the other, was immediately resolved. Whereas efficiencies justified council amalgamations statewide, the Melbourne City Council was subject to separate and extreme centralisation of state government power, deregulation of urban planning and de-democratisation as a micro CBD council."
Sustainable Population Australia,
Victorian and Tasmanian branch
Annual General Meeting 2015
On - Saturday September 5th
At - 1.45 for 2.00pm. (if you arrive late and the front door is closed – ring 0405 825769 or 0409742927)
Venue: Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000 Hayden Raysmith Conference Room, Fourth Floor. – (Turn left from the stairwell; or from lift through fire door and then left. It is the corner room).
Guest Speaker : Dr. Angela Munro, Public Policy expert:
"Kennett's 'commonsense revolution' and the Melbourne 'growth machine"
"The unilateral substitution of an appointed commission for the elected Melbourne City Council in October, 1993 by the incoming, neoliberal Victorian Government, was followed by its disempowerment as a democratic institution before reinstatement in emasculated form in 1996. The resounding defeat of the Labor government, in 1992, coincided with an unprecedented global property collapse whose cataclysmic economic and political consequences in Melbourne were conducive to this marginalisation of the City Council and citizenry. A historic dual conflict over the governance and development of central Melbourne between the Victorian Government and the City Council on the one hand, and between central city property interests and citizenry on the other, was immediately resolved. Whereas efficiencies justified council amalgamations statewide, the Melbourne City Council was subject to separate and extreme centralisation of state government power, deregulation of urban planning and de-democratisation as a micro CBD council."
Sheila Newman (Masters by Research in Environmental Sociology, specialising in population and environment), writer and researcher, current president of the SPA VicTas branch whose own research is complementary will add population specific details to fill in the jig saw of the picture of the population pressures we are experiencing in Victoria: "Victoria's population numbers under Kennett."
Ofcom said Royal Mail was also required to meet a target of 91.5 per cent of next-day delivery for first-class post throughout Britain and not just in densely populated areas.
But it achieved this level in only 62 per cent of the required postcode areas in the year to March 2013.
"Ofcom is concerned about Royal Mail's failure to meet certain service targets," the regulator said, threatening fines if the company continued to deliver late.
Unite, which represents around 7,000 postal managers, said the failures were due to job reductions in the run-up to the firm's privatisation.
Unite Royal Mail officer Brian Scott called for a company-wide review into tackling the issue of staff reductions and overworking.
He said: "Royal Mail has been setting itself up for privatisation in the last year, making unnecessary job reductions and cutting corners to make it a more viable sell-off.
"Members working in delivery offices are under a huge amount of pressure and this continues with no obvious solution."
The Campaign for Public Ownership said it was not just job reductions that were part of the government's preparations for privatisation.
Stamp prices were also increased in the run-up "to turn the people against the company" and to pre-empt an inevitable price rise once investors gained control - which would have resulted in a public backlash.
Campaign director Neil Clark said the future was bleak for the service. He told the Star: "After the next general election the universal service will disappear or mail delivery will take on the heavily subsidised railway model."
A Royal Mail statement said: "We were disappointed that we didn't meet all of the regulatory quality-of-service targets we were required to last year."
On the ABC News radio this morning (9 Sept 2012) we heard that private coal companies are demanding compensation for carbon trading costs from the Victorian Government and apparently this is being taken seriously!
All the brown coal stations in Victoria belonged to the State electricity Commission of Victoria until 1994 when they were privatised by Jeff Kennett.
Now the current government is saying that it may have to compensate brown coal producers for their not being able to use it because it is too polluting and will be too costly under the carbon trading system.
Do we require further proof of how corrupt and unproductive privatisation is?
What gives when a government not only sells off our assets but then somehow agrees to retain liability for business risks?
You would have thought that the private corporations would have assumed responsibility for the debt.
They have profited from the privatisation over the years and are now crying poor and demanding compensation!
How about making the parliamentarians who agreed to selling off these assets personally financially responsible for any such compensation?
We've known of the dangers of coal since the 18th century. Our leaders should be held responsible for getting us into this mess.
Kennett's legacy to Victorians has been no Victorian on the public payroll has a secure job, their employment can disappear a the stroke of a pen.
The local council is staffed by compulsory part timers and town planners lurch from 3 month contract to 3 month contract leading to no continuity of planning decisions and less than fearless and forthright planning decisions.
Local council services for the less well off in the community are provided by part time staff so that programs for the elderly are haphazard.
Teachers can spend up to 10 years on contract applying for their job and 50 others in the area every 6 months.
Patients in private hospitals as well as public hospitals are in the tender care of nurses who were hired at the start of the shift who don't know their way around today's workplace.
Because we still have employer based superannuation schemes older workers are not able to find meaningful permanent work.
In short Kennett's reforms were a disaster for working women and state public servants in Victoria throwing them out of secure employment and forcing those who were retrenched to continue in casual work or face a poverty stricken old age.
I think the rent seekers are those leeches in the financial services sector.