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Population Immigrations and Political Scare Campaigns

Population Immigrations and Political Scare Campaigns

Population debate, words, but little real policy. FOR most of the business community, this election campaign already feels too long.

They know there will be little hope of rational discussion until Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott actually wins the election and gets back to making policy rather than making announcements, according to focus group polling….

…The immediate frenzy over population policy and industrial relations is an obvious example….

But just as alarming to business in general is the new fashion for Australia’s political leaders to declare that the concept of a Big Australia has been cremated as well. The new politically correct word for Labor and Liberal is “sustainable”. It is one of those wonderful terms that sounds appealing to voters without actually meaning anything.

Beyond the inanity of basing this latest scare campaign on a date 40 years hence — 36 million by 2050 — the immediate reality is that Australia still needs a sizeable intake of immigrants to ensure its labour needs are met while the economy continues to grow strongly. That approach has basically worked well for decades and will continue to do so…

The spike to around 300,000 net arrivals in the past few years largely reflects an abuse of the overseas student-visa market to get residency — now tightened — as well as a more modest jump in temporary working visas (also tightened). But all the analysis shows an extensive skill shortages in the labour market that won’t be satisfied even if all those myriad training schemes finally do start working much more efficiently than they have……

In a pre-election address, the president of the Business Council of Australia, Graham Bradley, said Australia’s story on population had been one of growth and maturation as a community.

Would point out one issue, and like governments use population scare campaigns to divert attention from lack of infrastructure planning etc., the study to PR policy was not the issues. One person’s “abuse of the overseas student-visa market to get residency” is actually failure in management and regulation by state and federal governments, students did not make the law.

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