Bernard Keane in Crikey on the “Little Australia” hysteria:
The surrender to small-mindedness comes at a time when Australia should be exploiting the poor economic management of other developed countries to pick the eyes out of their skill bases. Across Europe and the anglosphere, there are millions of highly skilled, well-educated men and women whose potential isn’t being used, and won’t be used for years to come, until Western economies return to strong growth, if they ever do. We should be encouraging these people to make new homes in Australia, where we’ll put their talents to use and reward them well.
The craven retreat from immigration by Tony Abbot and Julia Gillard is a policy disaster of the first order. And it’s one for which generations of Australians will pay.
That’s the major parties pandering to xenophobia – but even the Greens are wary about population increases. I’d rather they were a little more open to the idea of a higher population – although, in their defence, their argument at this point is more at the “build infrastructure and manage our resources better” end than the asinine “foreigners take our jobs and destroy our values” ones that motivate the big party voters.