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Australian Media Misleading on Immigration Population Growth

The mere mention of population and immigration in Australia brings emotional and sometimes hysterical alarm, because it’s true, or how data is presented?

Australian media outlets, especially of the centre, see immigration and population growth in mostly negative terms, but only through some sloppy data analysis.

How can highly educated journalists demand evidence for any claim made by others, and in their own often excellent analytical work, but when it comes to immigration and population, their lack of clear thinking and clarity would embarrass a year 12 student?

“From Tim Colebatch Fairfax: Australian population to exceed 40 million by 2060.  

Almost 10 million migrants over the next 50 years would swell Australia’s population to more than 40 million people by 2060 and more than 50 million by 2100, under dramatically higher new projections by the Bureau of Statistics.

The bureau’s new projections, the first for five years, envisage tens of millions more people crowding into Australia’s capital cities over the next 50 years, overwhelmingly due to migration…..

 

By Leith van Onselen at Macrobusiness: Australia’s century of old age.

Yesterday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its long-term population projections, which provide population projections….

….. Based on the ABS’ projections, the calls for Australia to increase its immigration and/or birth rates in order to mitigate the impacts of an ageing population appear to be misguided….

… Think about these facts the next time a population booster argues for a higher immigration intake to alleviate pressures arising from an ageing population.

Earlier this month, Business Spectator’s Rob Burgess published an article strongly supporting his boss, Rupert Murdoch’s, plea that Australia maintain its high immigration intake, which he labelled an economic “no brainer”. Burgess’ evidence-free arguments were debunked comprehensively by me, which I hoped was the last I would hear from him on this issue….

… As noted earlier today, the only way to mitigate the effects of population ageing is through: (1) greater productivity growth; (2) higher workforce participation; (3) tightening eligibility requirements for entitlements, such as the aged pension, aged care, and subsidised health care; and (4) reducing superannuation concessions for higher income earners.

Perhaps Burgess should think about these facts the next time he proposes to write an article arguing for a higher immigration intake.”

In the above articles neither Colebatch  nor van Onselen make any distinction between permanent immigrants and temporary residents such as 2nd year backpackers, students, 457 visa workers etc., i.e. they are all deemed to be ‘immigrants’, which suggests they are permanent? (importantly the major component of net overseas migration are temps who will never draw a pension etc.)

One suspects they are using or have been influenced by Dr. Bob Birrell’s “immigration research” which does the same, and has been strongly criticised and condemned by Australian  Health Workforce, using adjectives to describe his analysis of overseas trained doctors report as ‘inaccurate, misinterpreted, misunderstood, incorrect, simplistic measures’ etc.  They should be alarmed that Andrew Bolt and John Maranauskas of News Corp’s Herald Sun, Alan Jones etc. also prefer Birrell’s “research” which encourages “dog whistling” (because we are not racist!), how?

1.  Through history bigots and nativists the world over have created alarm about immigration and population growth through ‘inflation’ of data, which makes for a better headline.

2.  Through media and social discourse using language in a prejorative manner to emphasise a negative connotation e.g. ‘boat people’, ‘queue jumpers’, and nowadays in anglo world, ‘immigrants’ and ‘population growth’.

3. This is done by ‘conflating’ definitions so that not just permanent immigrants are counted as ‘immigrants’, but also temporaries, who are caught up also in the NOM net overseas migration data through the 12/16+ month rule (which came in 2006 for Australia, I think), so NOM = Permanent Immigration, very misleading and comparing apples with oranges.

Where did Birrell (+ Kelvin Thomson et al) learn how to do this?

“The Social Contract Press (TSCP) routinely publishes race-baiting articles penned by white nationalists. The press is a program of U.S. Inc, the foundation created by John Tanton, the racist founder and principal ideologue of the modern nativist movement. TSCP puts an academic veneer of legitimacy over what are essentially racist arguments about the inferiority of today’s immigrants.” SPLC

Of course Birrell et al at Monash University’s Centre for Population and Urban Research have contributed to and liased with Tanton’s Network, especially The Social Contract Press. 

Australian journalists, try to be objective even if it is tempting not to be for a hot headline…..

6 Responses to “Australian Media Misleading on Immigration Population Growth”

  1. SBS our multicultural broadcaster is now spruiking the bigots ‘over population’ message:

    The ABS says almost 15 million migrants are expected to arrive in Australia over the next six decades, bringing the country’s population to 46 million. …

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/11/28/migration-biggest-contributor-population-growth

  2. Professor Stephen King of Monash University on Bob Birrell:

    ‘Pass me the sushi and damn the immigrants

    BY STEPHEN KING ON MARCH 25, 2010 • 19 COMMENTS

    Unfortunately, I am old enough to remember the suburban Melbourne 60s. I remember the first Chinese restaurant in Dandenong – and the horror of an elderly male when ‘chinese beef’ didn’t come out like a bar-b-qued T-bone. I remember the strange food that I sometimes enjoyed at our Italian neighbours – damn it tasted good. I remember when SBS started on TV – derided until some of us found what ‘world news’ really meant. And I remember my friends starting to date and then marry the kids of immigrants – and producing the next batch of Australians.

    I remember the boring ‘lamb and potato mash’ 60s in Australia – and sorry Bob Birrell, I don’t want to go back there.

    It looks like Bob does – as you can see from his article in Policy. A summary is here.

    Here is Bob’s conclusion:

    “Australia is being transformed. We are losing core elements of what was once shared. Almost all could once aspire to a house and land—living in garden city settings different only in scale from their better-off counterparts, and sharing a common language, sporting culture, and heritage.”

    http://economics.com.au/?p=5320

  3. Bernard Keane at Crikey from 2010 referring to Birrell and indirectly to Sustainable Population Australia:

    ‘Immigration rhetoric cannot be sustained’

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/29/immigration-rhetoric-that-cant-be-sustained/?wpmp_switcher=mobile

  4. From The Monthly Review on Australian media and politicians on greenwashing i.e. using bogus environmental arguments to limit immigration and population growth:

    https://aiecquest.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/media-misinformation-on-climate-population-immigration-in-australia/

  5. Is Leith van Onselen of MacroBusiness Bob bIrrell’s and Sustainable Population Australia’s new acolyte?

    http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/12/a-small-win-on-immigration/#comment-306570


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