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The Forum > General Discussion > Immigration - How much is too many? Or too few?

Immigration - How much is too many? Or too few?

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In the interests of transparency we are a family of immigrants. The four of us arrived here in August 1996.

In the interests of candour, if I had been in charge of Australian immigration I would not have admitted me. I do not see how it benefits an aging society to admit a man a month short of his 51st birthday.

So when I say "Thank you Australia but you shouldn't have" I mean it.

Subsequent to my arrival the Howard Government tightened the rules. Under current rules I would not have been able to migrate to Australia.

I would have tightened them further. Except in the most extra-ordinary circumstances I would not admit anyone aged over 40. Not a parent, sibling, child or spouse. Nobody.

I would also bar anyone who could not DEMONSTRATE proficiency in English.

Note, I am talking about immigration, not refugees. That is a separate issue.

The Rudd Government is continuing the policy of the Howard Government in allowing large scale migration. The thinking is that the population of Australia will expand by 12 million, to 35 million, by 2050.

Can anyone explain to me how this will benefit Australia?

Specifically, how will rapid population growth benefit THOSE WHO ARE HERE NOW and their descendants?

I am not advocating zero immigration. I'm not advocating anything. I'm simply asking questions.

But here's a thought. Might Australia be better off with an immigration rate that keeps population numbers stable or growing only slowly?

Is there an optimum number of migrants beyond which the disdavantages start outweighing the benefits? If so, what is that number? Is it greater than zero?

These are not rhetorical questions. I would like to see some answers. I do have an open mind on the topic
Posted by stevenlmeyer, Sunday, 8 November 2009 10:32:24 AM
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Dear Steven, I think you do the over 50s a mis justice! 50 is not 'aged' any more, and they still should have many productive years ahead of them. Apparently the 50 year olds are the new 40 year olds!
These days there are many older Fathers around too, so if we wanted to encourage family migration, we would have to agree to allow these older people to come too.

Immigration should not be limited by age as such, as long as they have relatives here willing to look after them.
I agree that we should continue to limit the intake of very disabled people who will stretch our already delicate health budget too far.

Prospective immigrants who do not speak English should be allowed in if they fit all the other criteria. If they show a willingness to learn English, then more the better.

We have had plenty of non-English speaking immigrants come to Australia who have gone on to be very productive members of our society.
Examples of this would include the Italians, Vietnamese and Chinese immigrants.
We would not have had all the wonderful market gardens, restaurants or yummy foods if we had not allowed these non-English speaking peoples in in the past!

We have to remember we don't exist in isolation in this country. If we limit immigration from other countries, then those countries aren't going to be too keen to allow trade, or allowing our own citizens to emigrate to their countries if they wish.

With immigration, I don't know how many is too many. I only know that we need to get on well with other countries in the world if we are going to continue to live in peace.

We have a huge country here, with lots of resources, so I don't think we are anywhere near ready to close our doors
Posted by suzeonline, Sunday, 8 November 2009 3:04:42 PM
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"... thinking is that the population of Australia will expand by 12 million, to 35 million, by 2050.

Can anyone explain to me how this will benefit Australia?"

I suppose the obvious benefit is that there maybe twelve million more consumers spending just as much money for 50% less than it buys us now. Higher rates of inflation are good for capitalism - big business profits from more sales from less product.

Indirectly, the benefit I would hope for is that we might finally see how the multiculturalism of recent years was a great idea in some ways, for a world-class Australia, but by the same token I reckon it has cost us in losses of our own culture, as is apparent here in Perth where the population had increased threefold from 500,000 it was when I was born.

Here, we have grown from a big country-town to a mid-sized city, and IMHO it has led to some subtle changes where we have opened the doors to allcomers; both interstate and international; which is hospitable, but many of our policies have adapted to ways that may no longer uphold some of the decency that we once had. *cries into beer*

Why not open the floodgates completely, and set an example to the rest of the World on the benefits of true multiculturalism? Citizenship at the customs counter at the airport and let anyone who wants to come join in the fun while it lasts. We've already gone halfway, so why stop now?

As for English proficiency, with respect Mr Meyer, I reckon you're flogging dead horse after listening to some of the English lecturers prattling on about 'skedules' and other eggcorns on campus early this year. More multilingualism in schools might be a more effective method to demolish the new Tower of Babble.

Then again, I though that 'transparent' meant invisible, and 'opaque' means visible. Maybe I should concentrate more on drinking that beer and stop crying in it?
Thanks for a good topic and sorry if I'm a little obtuse today.
Posted by Seano, Sunday, 8 November 2009 3:11:01 PM
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suzeonline,

You have not actually explained how large scale immigration will benefit the people who are here now and their descendants.

BTW the habitable part of Australia is actually quite small. It's more useful to think of Australia as being roughly the size of France but without the good soils. This is really quite a small country an archipelago around a desert sea.
Posted by stevenlmeyer, Sunday, 8 November 2009 5:02:19 PM
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As a seventh-generation Western Australian, may I suggest that the immigration policies of these last twenty or more years have done NOTHING for the descendants of those who migrated here in 1829 who did NOTHING for the descendants of those who migrated here forty or fifty thousand years ago.

Still, you've hit on a wonderful idea in that post. Rather than the Pacific Solution, how about the Great Sandy Solution? All we have to do is transport anyone who arrives here from now on, whether by boat or plane, to some remote place in the desert for a couple of years and leave them there to see how they adapt to true Australian culture?

Survival of the fit might end up Darwinian in more ways than one, if they can walk as well as they can sail or fly.
Posted by Seano, Sunday, 8 November 2009 5:43:48 PM
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Steven,
Clearly letting you in was part of a Zionist plot to help their insidious PR machine of course LaL (laugh a little) sorry, I couldn't resist.

Hmmm let me see, 10 less than now, no 20, ah maybe 34 and I have a list.

The question Steven is way beyond most of us, certainly me, to calculate a meaningful figure. We have neither the resources, information or dare I say the ability.

That objectively means we have three choices on OLO.
- indulge in a war of motherhood statements and concepts .
- Pick an 'authority' of choice, argue their case and probably end up looking silly.
- Or ignore the topic and focus on the process, big picture aspects there of (which I suspect most will do)

In the late 60's I joined the original Australia party and it was ZPG then. 4 children later, I can only encourage those who *do* have the resources, information etc. to 'crunch' the numbers and hope that after due consultation, we see sense.

Clearly I don't have a number, however logic dictates that that number isn't infinite.

As a humanist, I have some difficulty viewing Australia's situation through jingoistic parameters like race, religion, culture (supremacies). To me 'Fortress Australia' as a concept is temporary one as in the long run, other factors will inevitably dictate. Like it or not, our influence will be as a bit player.

The world's population, needs, powers, and environmental conditions will ultimately determine the outcome.

The question to me is 'do we want some influence or simply be pushed along?'

Any population limits must be in the context of the larger world perspective. It is fantasy to think we can control our climate if the outside world doesn't. e.g. If the Antarctic/Arctic ice melts the water rise or catastrophic weather won't rage elsewhere and stop at our borders. Nor will the tide of hungry nations.

*Evidence* clearly shows that our life raft is closing on its maximum tolerances and we need to bale by changing practices etc and PLAN our future carefully.
Posted by examinator, Sunday, 8 November 2009 7:00:17 PM
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