Hidden immigration targets present a looming policy challenge
Luke and Dr. Abul Rizvi, former deputy secretary of the Department of Immigration and author of “Population Shock,” discuss the absence of public discourse on immigration targets until after elections.
Dr. Rizvi highlights that the current record-high net migration, significantly surpassing previous levels from when Kevin Rudd discussed a ‘big Australia,’ makes it difficult for the Albanese Government to address a long-term net migration target.
Over the years, successive governments have avoided setting such targets to avoid upsetting business lobby groups advocating for higher migration and anti-immigration groups advocating for reduced immigration. The Coalition criticizes the current government for not establishing a long-term net migration target but refrains from committing to one for the same reasons.
Dr. Rizvi questions how a sensible migration strategy can be formulated without a long-term net migration target. He emphasizes that setting an average target over the economic cycle would enable more effective long-term planning for housing, infrastructure, energy, transportation, health, education, and other government services.
It begs the question: doesn’t the government desire better planning in these critical areas?
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