Do we or do we not need migrants?

Posted on April 7, 2010 by Benson Shi

The federal opposition recently announced that they will cut migration levels if elected government as they fear that the country will not be able to cope with the prediction that 36 million people will be living in Australia in 2036.

At the moment, Australia has a population of just above 21 million.

As reported by The Australian, Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said that the net overseas migration under the Coalition had been 126,000 per year while it rose on to 300,000 per year under the Labor government. Mr. Morrison then believes that the solution would be to tighten immigration policy, not on skilled migrants, but on other stream such as family reunion.

With the current and upcoming changes to the General Skilled Migration program taking place, a possible cut on the family stream, should the Federal Opposition wins election, will make migrating into Australia extremely challenging.

Is it in Australia’s best interest to cut migration levels? Considering Australia’s infrastructure and environmental constraints, is this perhaps in the best interest for all Australians?

Former NSW premier Bob Carr said that, “The argument is about the level of immigration, the rate of immigration… we’ve ramped it up to levels the Australian people aren’t comfortable with.”

As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, Mr. Morrison emphasized that the Coalition has always been a supporter of natural population increase, however, the big contributor to population growth is not its natural increase—it is net overseas migration.

The coalition then encourage Australian to have more babies, whilst look for areas in migration that can be cut to reduce the rate of population growth.

On the other hand, Katharine Murphy of the Sydney Morning Herald believes that “We still need migration to fix skill shortages. Unless we all breed ourselves senseless in the next five minutes, Australia will go on needing immigration.