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“Big Australia” Needed, Immigration is Good

“Big Australia” Needed, Immigration is Good

Reject little Australia: PM advisers. TWO key government advisers and the nation’s leading demographer have warned that the nation’s “big Australia” debate has now entered dangerous territory and pressed the case for higher immigration to keep the economy strong.

Peter McDonald, head of the Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, said yesterday the current political discourse linking high immigration rates to inflated house prices and congestion in the big cities risked a damaging reversion to Hansonism.

Professor McDonald was backed by former key government adviser and population economist Glenn Withers, who said the tone of the debate had “the potential for becoming dangerous”, while Infrastructure Australia head Rod Eddington said he was in favour of a “robust immigration program”.

…..Australians readily accepted cultural diversity unless their leaders encouraged them not to. “We depend on our leaders to give us their best (but) they’re not necessarily giving us their best right now. It’s important they take a step back and understand where they are taking this debate.”

Monash University demographer Bob Birrell said the public’s mood was finally reaching the ears of the politicians. “Their concerns about the costs of population growth, issues such as congestion and housing, are real,” he said. “Hitherto they’ve been ignored in the decision-making on immigration, but in this window of opportunity in the election campaign, they are being heard loud and clear as the parties come to understand it may mean votes.”

Birrell not happy that his anti immigration agenda is being junked?

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