Australia’s population has been growing at an unsustainable rate for too long.
In 2017, the population surged by 388,000 people, for a growth rate of 1.6%. That’s more than double the rate of US growth, which stood at 0.7%. For a nation with less than 25 million people, this level of growth is unsustainable.
If it were maintained, Australia would double its current population in less than 64 years. And with the capital cities already grinding to a halt during peak hour, support for mass immigration is dwindling, even among the socialist and big Australia factions.
Taking its first small step to address the population crisis, the federal government is set to announce polices restricting immigration to 160,000 and forcing a share of skilled migrants to live outside of Sydney and Melbourne.
The government is also offering incentives for international students to study at regional universities. Last year more than 500,000 international students attended university in Australia.
And just to put this into perspective, between 70–80% of new migrants choose to live in either Sydney or Melbourne.
Terror attack won’t stop discussion
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also raised the idea of cutting the nation’s migration cap, even after facing criticism for doing so close to the Christchurch terror attack.
In Adelaide on Tuesday, the PM stated:
‘It’s always the right time to be addressing the issues and needs that the Australian public are concerned about and want addressed…
‘This debate about population growth and migration has nothing to do with those other issues that have been the subject of recent focus.’
Morrison doesn’t believe that discussions about migration should be ‘hijacked’ by other issues such as race or tolerance.
‘We’ve seen what happens when these important practical debates are hijacked by these other extremist views, which occur from both the right and from the left…
‘I’m determined to not see the serious population growth management issues taken off course, to be hijacked by those who want to push other agendas.
‘I have no purchase in those agendas, I have no truck with those agendas, and I denounce them absolutely.’
However, the PM isn’t quite ready to place a figure on the cap.
Government caps to ease Congestion
The cap is aimed at easing congestion in Melbourne and Sydney, and will lower targets previously in place, AAP reports.
The regional settlement policy would involve a portion of skilled migrants to live for at least five years in cities other than Sydney and Melbourne.
Last October, Federal Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge said planning measures would need to accommodate changes to immigration patterns.
He also signalled that unplanned population growth had led to a great disproportion in rates of people living across Australia.
‘Overall, the costs of congestion to the economy are already great, and rising steeply,’ he warned six months ago.
The cabinet has authorised changes that will cap the targeted yearly intake of permanent migrant by as much as 30,000.
The immigration policy will have a big impact on the federal government’s budget estimates, as economic growth is directly impacted by immigration rates.
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