Iain Hall's SANDPIT

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Moderation in all things

Well I think that the big Australia enthusiasts are now sure to be disappointed if the coalition wins on the twenty-first. As Tony Abbott announces that the coalition will apply the brakes to our immigration programs.

The cuts will focus on family and student visa programs, while skilled migration will largely be quarantined.

Under the Coalition’s policy, Queensland, Western Australia and small business would be given priority treatment for skilled migrants.

Although rejecting the idea of a “Big Australia”, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has denied the population debate is an immigration debate.

Mr Abbott said a “fair dinkum” debate on population could not avoid immigration.

While the Coalition doesn’t put a figure on it, the policy would put Australia on track for a population in 2050 of well below the 36 million forecast in Treasury’s most recent intergenerational report.

Opposition Immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said rapid population growth must not rob future generations of the “quality of life and opportunities we enjoy”.

“We believe Australians are looking for payment up front on infrastructure and services before they will support a higher rate of population growth,” he said.

The Coalition policy announcement today will also commit the Government to population growth rates being set by a renamed Productivity Commission, which will be called the Productivity and Sustainability Commission, based on delivery of improved infrastructure and services.

Two thirds of the permanent migration program (which totals about 180,000 a year) will be reserved for skilled migration.

Sponsored skilled work visas and temporary skilled work visas (known as 457 visas) would be quarantined at existing levels, and the humanitarian intake would also stay the same.

As I was suggesting in my earlier post even if you think that a bigger Australia is a better Australia then you have to be bonkers if you think that we should rush to get there.  The policy announced will keep both our population and our economy growing but at a more moderate rate which will take some of the pressure off the need to build expensive infrastructure in  a hurry. This country has a damn fine record for accepting successive waves of immigrants but I think that success has been predicated on not asking the community to absorb too many new comers at any one time . The more moderate rate proposed by the coalition will help in this respect and don’t even the “big Australia” enthusiasts want a big happy nation rather than a big and disturbed one?

Cheers Comrades


  1. Ray Dixon says:

    It’s too drastic to halve our intake, Iain. If this gets up it’s “Good bye Australia, hello Argentina”. We’ll become a regressive 3rd world nation unable to expand, unable to fund infrastructure and taxed to the hilt.

  2. Iain Hall says:

    Why did you cite Argentina in particular Ray?

  3. Ray Dixon says:

    No reason. I’m just saying we would go backwards with Abbott’s policy.

  4. Mags says:

    Hi Iain,
    I think our biggest problem here in Australia is our infrastructure, you cannot keep up a population if you do not put in the water, or electricity to sustain the people, as well of course roads, schools etc. There has been no major dams built in Australia for over 20 years, and no new power stations, yet they expect the Australian public to use less and less so that others may have a right to use these things as well. Get the Country ahead of itself first, then when living standards are sure to stay the same or even better, then have as people as you like.

  5. Iain Hall says:

    I agree Mags we recently had the planned Traveston dam rejected on environmental grounds and with it goes any chance of increased water supplies for the booming Sunshine Coast region. The solution of desalination is so energy intensive I just can not see it being viable for anything other then some sort of emergency, especially if the Warministas hold sway.
    As I have said elsewhere Water tanks for every dwelling (new or old) makes sense to me but the governments seem wary of them for various reasons like the inability to get revenue form home-owners for water and perhaps from some residual concern about the possibility of health issues (like it getting in the way of their mass medication schemes like the addition of fluoride to reticulated supplies)
    Welcome to the Sand Pit BTW 🙂

  6. Iain Hall says:

    Well as it appears likely that the Anointed One will try to out bid Tony on this issue and suggest even deeper cuts to immigration which will leave you with no choice but to vote for Tony 😉

  7. Mags says:

    Thank You for the welcome Iain, I am an “oldie” from Brisbane, and I find your blog very interesting, I will visit again.

  8. Ray Dixon says:

    We have enough infrastructure to sustain or current population and despite claims to the contrary we are building more all the time. A new hydro station at Bogong in Victoria is just one example. The north-south pipeline in Victoria and the desal projects are others. This “sustainability” we are talking about is a totally undefined term and it’s more about rhetoric than any real targets. But have a look around, we are not sufferring for the lack of much. If we want new infrastructure we need to have growth & demand for it but this idea that we need to put new infrastructure in place first is getting the cart before the horse.

  9. Iain Hall says:

    I like to give new visitors a warm welcome because I think that debate and discussion is where the real fun lies when it comes to blogging.

    My understanding of the term “Sustainable” suggests a population that is maintained by enough births to compensate for the ongoing attrition of the Grim reaper. But putting that aside You have to be kidding by suggesting that desalination is a good idea under any circumstances do you realise just how much energy it uses?

  10. Ray Dixon says:

    Well that just shows that no one really knows what it means, Iain.

    Anyway, I knew you’d straw pick my mention of desal plants but like it or not they are coming. I guess we’ll find some way of “sustaining” the amount of energy they require to keep functioning.

    On the topic of “sustainability”, shouldn’t economic “sustainability” be part of the debate too? And how do you think we have “sustained” our economic growth throughout history? By immigration of course.

  11. Ray Dixon says:

    Anyway, Iain, the debate is on soon. Are you going to ‘twitter’ it? Or will you, like most sensible people, just pay attention and not try to outfunny every other imbecile tweeting away? Oh the laughs – how unhilarious.

  12. gigdiary says:

    @gigdiary oh you can be cruel sometimes Ray 🙂 @raydixon #greatdebate

  13. Len says:

    Thank God, someone else who is using a bit of common sense in this debate.

    Thanks Mags !

  14. Iain Hall says:

    I just watched The debate on the ABC news24 and managed to avoid the worm as for twitter I agree with you Ray when you say that it is all about people trying to out smart-arse each other.
    I thought that it was pretty much a draw Gillard was a little more fluent but that was undermined by the amount of spin she was serving Tony was more “fair dinkum” and his message about the incompetence of the ALP will be a big issue in the coming weeks . anyway I’m off to bed and will write about more in the morning.

  15. Ray Dixon says:

    Well GD, if you twittered that you’d be stretched to come up with a single funny line in my opinion, so uneventful it was. How about: Abbott thinks the more he says “fair dinkum” the more he’ll sound like a true blue Aussie #fairdinkum

    But, “fair dinkum”, he was mild and made no inroads. I scored it to Gillard by the mere fact it was up to Abbott to show her up and he didn’t. If anything, she floored his whole immigration announcement in one one fell swoop – “they are our targets you’re quoting Tony”.

  16. gigdiary says:

    Ray, I didn’t twitter during the debate, but Bob Brown did. It was the only way he could have a say…

  17. Len says:

    That’s the only way Bob Brown should be able have a say ?

  18. Husky Jim says:

    Julia could’a come out and strangled a puppy and poached it’s still beating heart in milk and some would still have “scored it to Julia”.

  19. Ray Dixon says:

    Bob Brown will be PM. Haven’t you heard?

  20. Len says:

    That would solve the population problem Ray ?
    Mass emigration ?

  21. Husky Jim says:

    Brown would solve the health debate too Len.
    Euthanasia is cheeper than a bed.

  22. Len says:

    boom boom !

    He’d solve the fuel debate as well.
    We would all have to drive Prius’ or worse ?

    For power generation, the entire outback would be covered with solar cells, and wind turbines ?

    Helps keep twitter in business I suppose. Nice to see a dinosaur take up residence in the new millennia finally ?

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