Try to get across any of Australia’s capital cities at peak hour and you won’t be surprised that a growing number of Australians want to see the nation’s immigration cut.
The findings of a new report have been released at the tail-end of a year during which the size of the country’s immigration program has come under scrutiny.
A survey completed this year, the 11th annual Scanlon Foundation study into social cohesion, found that of the 1,500 Australians surveyed, 42% believe that the amount of immigrants coming into Australia is too high.
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Majority are content with immigration levels
In 2017, the number sat at 35%. It’s a large increase in only 12 months.
However in 2017, 40% of the people surveyed felt the number ‘was about right’. While in 2018, it sits at 35%. And this year, 17% found that the number Australia had set was too low.
According to AAP, report author Andrew Markus explained that while concerns regarding immigration levels have increased over the past year, majority still sit in the ‘happy with the levels’ or ‘too low’ category.
Markus told AAP:
‘It does question that perceived sort of standing that Australians have now gone negative on immigration’.
The stats also vary from city to city. For example, 33% of those surveyed in Melbourne chose the too high option regarding how many immigrants we let in to Australia. Compared to Sydney, which was much higher at 51%.
Australia’s attitude towards migration is positive
Setting the stats aside, Australia’s attitude regarding migration is still on the positive end of the spectrum, the 2018 study found.
82% agreed that immigrants improve Australian society through the introduction of new ideas and cultures. And 80% also agreed that they were good for the economy.
85% found that multiculturalism has been good for Australia.
There were concerns though. 54% are concerned that immigration could exasperate the overcrowding of cities.
49% of those surveyed are also concerned about the impact of immigration on house prices. And 49% believe that federal and state governments have been poor in their management of population growth.
This report comes just a few weeks after the federal government suggested a plan to cut the immigration intake by 30,000 annually in the budget to be released next year.
190,000 is the number of Australia’s annual immigration cap. But last year, only 162,000 permanent visas were approved.
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