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‘It does change the social fabric of the community’: Fairfield Mayor discusses ‘white flight’

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Though Luke Foley was berated for his controversial “white flight” comments last month, new census-based research suggests he may have been onto something.

“Uncompromisingly direct” evidence has confirmed an exodus of ‘white’ locals from western Sydney communities, according to The Weekend Australian. Over the five years to 2016, 63% of the 183,000 who departed from these suburbs were Australian-born, with a further 5 per cent born in Britain or New Zealand.

Meanwhile, two-thirds of the 226,000 new arrivals in western suburbs identified as having a “non-Anglo heritage.”

Mayor of Fairfield, Frank Carbone, says the numbers verify a long-standing trend.

“Over many decades, migrants have always come to places like Fairfield and settled here,” he says.

“But when you put all these people in one spot without the resources and infrastructure, the proof is in the pudding. We have the highest increasing unemployment rate of any city in Australia.”

“That tells you resettlement is not working, it tells you that the government needs to do more.”

The formation of ethnic enclaves or “parallel communities” has also been a cause for concern, with cultural clusters seeing some no longer recognise their suburbs.

“When you get a lot of people coming, it does change the social fabric of the community, it does,” says Mr Carbone.

 “We should celebrate diversity, but we should remember that ultimately, it’s the Australian way of life that makes us a fortunate country.”

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