Even more things for wannabe Aussie migrants to worry about as news reports today hint that Australias New Prime Minister Julia Gillard will be breaking from her predecessor’s advocacy of a “Big Australia” flagging further cuts to immigration quotas.
In an interview with the Australian version of the Daily Telegraph News paper, Gillard said:
“Australia shouldn’t hurtle down the track towards a big population… We need to stop, take a breath and develop policies for a sustainable Australia.”
Gillard replaced Kevin Rudd last week after he recorded sharp falls in opinion polls ahead of a parliamentary election later this year. Rudd had rejoiced in the headcount growing at a rate four times China’s and double that of the United States.
With immigration running at 300,000 a year, the projections are that the continent would be home to 36 million by 2050, up from 22 million now.
As immigration accounts for over half of population growth, Gillard would have to cut back on annual quotas to halt runaway growth.
She said migrants could still come in to fill skill shortages but that she did not “want areas of Australia with 25 per cent youth unemployment because there are no jobs.”
Opposition Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott said Gillard, who arrived in Australia with her British parents at the age of 4, had fallen in behind Rudd’s “Big Australia” dictum just two months ago.
Abbott said the new Labor leader was adjusting her pronouncements to what opinion polling showed was popular. “She’ll give the public what they want to hear without giving them the policy to deliver it,” he said.
For every migrants sake, let’s hope that’s the case!