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‘This is a smokescreen’: Labor slams Coalition’s population policy

Luke Grant

The Coalition’s highly-anticipated population plan has been dismissed by Labor.

New visa conditions for some migrants have been spruiked by the Government, which would require newcomers to settle outside of major capital cities for five years.  It’s thought this decentralisation would ease some of the overpopulation symptoms beleaguering our cities, like overloaded infrastructure, traffic congestion and stagnating wage growth.

But Labor has slammed the proposal, saying it is a “ thought bubble” that fails to protect Australian workers from the current immigration regime.  With over 1.8 million Australians looking for work, the Opposition says now is not the time for the Government to allow the number of temporary visa holders to balloon out to 1.6 million.

MacroBusiness economist Leith Van Onselen agrees, questioning the feasibility of the announcement.

“My view is that this is a smokescreen,” he tells Luke Grant.

“I can’t see how it’s workable and I don’t know how it could be enforced. Instead of doing the logical thing, which is reducing the immigration intake from triple the historical average back towards the historical average, I think the Government is trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

“They’re giving us the perception that they’re acting, when they’re really not.”

Click PLAY below to listen to the full interview:

Luke Grant
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