“Australians pride themselves as welcoming and tolerant, however they recognise infrastructure and housing has not kept pace with a rapid and unsustainable expansion to migration,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.
The Federal Government’s migration review, recently released by Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil, failed to address key issues, such as migration growth challenges and ignored the needs of Australia’s pensioners, veterans, and students who want to work.
New polling released today by the IPA shows 60% of Australians want a temporary pause on the intake of new immigrants until more economic and social infrastructure, such as schools, roads, hospitals, and houses, are built.
“While the federal government has committed to a dramatic expansion to the migrant intake, Australians are calling for their political leaders to ensure that there is first adequate social and economic infrastructure, as well as local work rules in place,” said Mr Wild.
Respondents were also asked if Australian pensioners, veterans, and students should receive first preference for local jobs rather than new migrants, with 69 per cent agreeing, and only 21 disagreeing.
“Our leaders have the tools to tackle Australia’s unprecedented worker shortage via simple and effective reforms, such as cutting red-tape to allow our pensioners, veterans, and students to work, rather than relying on migration, which will stretch our already failing infrastructure,” said Mr Wild.
Further, seven in ten respondents said they believe the federal government’s proposal to let in a further 650,000 migrants over the next two years is too high, with just six per cent saying it is not enough.
Importantly, 85% of respondents agreed Australia is a tolerant and welcoming nation.
“Australia has and always will be a welcoming country, we have a rich multi-ethnic and multi-racial culture, but unsustainably increasing migration is not in the interest of a majority of Australians, including those who recently migrated here themselves,” said Mr Wild.
Recent research by the IPA has established that there are more than enough pensioners, veterans, and students who are willing to work to fill the worker shortage, without relying on more migration.
“Removing all red-tape and barriers for Australian pensioners to get back into the workforce, without suffering significant financial penalties, is a simple and effective policy measure that is good for them and good for our nation,” said Mr Wild.
To download the polling results click here
To download the IPA’s research on Australia’s worker shortage click here