Labor must be honest with the public about its ‘Big Australia by stealth’ policy.
The Reserve Bank is concerned the massive influx of people into the country is adding to Australia’s inflation crisis, with net overseas migration forecast under Labor to reach 650,000 people over two years coupled with their increase to the permanent migration cap.
All the experts say Australia should be targeting young, highly skilled migrants to deliver the economic dividend our country needs, yet Labor’s three most recent announcements — the fast-tracked citizenship for New Zealanders, a Pacific Island lottery, and making 19,000 boat arrivals permanent citizens — are all untargeted.
When Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil stands up at the National Press Club today to reveal Labor’s “comprehensive” immigration review, the Minister must answer these ten questions:
- How big will Labor’s Big Australia actually get? Not even a year into government and Labor have increased the permanent migration cap by 35,000 people, overseen an influx in net migration of 650,000 people over the next two years, and offered no plan to deal with the 101,000 asylum seekers in Australia, which continues to grow each month.
- What will Labor’s Big Australia cost? There are budgetary implications for the immigration cap increase, the fast track to citizenship for New Zealanders and converting 19,000 boat arrivals to permanent citizens, but Labor has provided no details about the cost to taxpayers.
- Where will all the new arrivals under Labor’s Big Australia live?
- And what will their arrival do to the housing shortage, rental crisis, skyrocketing inflation and congestion?
- To maximise the economic benefits for Australia, our immigration program needs to target young, highly skilled migrants, so what is the age and skill make-up of the immigrants coming here under Labor’s Big Australia? Labor has published no data.
- When will Labor’s policy program fix the workforce shortages in aged care, hospitals, schools and business? Labor has published no data on what skills are coming into the country.
- Who will Labor target to reduce the number of temporary visa holders in Australia when international students and backpackers are demand-driven, temporary skilled workers are needed to fill shortages and New Zealand immigrants are not capped?
- How is Labor going to balance the record numbers of international student arrivals with the needs of Australian students seeking a high-quality education?
- What is Labor’s plan to deal with the 101,000 asylum seekers in Australia, a problem Labor described as “criminal syndicates” “trafficking people” in conditions close to “slavery”?
- Will the Labor Government publish the full report and all the submissions?