In a blow for multiculturalism and open door migration, a majority of Australian voters believe the country is full and almost half support a partial ban on new Muslim arrivals.
The changing approach to immigration Down Under has been highlighted in a new survey that shows that just over 50 per cent of voters agree that Australia has changed beyond recognition and “sometimes feels like a foreign country.”
The Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRI) conducted the polling. The independent organisation claims the results are driven by a rapid change in Australia’s ethnic and religious make-up and concerns over quality of life.
It comes as ordinary Australians cope with massive population growth driven by record migrant intakes and Pauline Hanson of the One Nation Party warned that Australia’s political elites are increasingly out of touch with ordinary voters. She tweeted:
END MASS MIGRATION | Gov, Labor & Greens refuse to acknowledge the dangers of mass migration #auspol
— Pauline Hanson (@PaulineHansonOz) October 20, 2017
Results of the TAPRI poll outlined that 74 per cent of respondents thought Australia did not need more people, with big majorities believing that population growth was putting “a lot of pressure” on hospitals, roads, affordable housing and jobs.
Fifty-four per cent wanted a cut to migration, while 55 per cent agreed Australia “was in danger of losing its culture and identity”, and 52 per cent said the country had changed so much that it sometimes felt foreign.
On Muslim immigration, 48 per cent supported a partial ban, a quarter opposed a ban and 27 per cent neither supported or opposed it.
The survey was largely based on the views of Australian-born respondents, who were “much more likely to take a tough line on immigration numbers and ethnic diversity than are overseas-born persons (unless they are UK-born)”, the report noted.
Australia’s population grew by 384,000 in the year to March 2017, with 60 per cent of that due to net overseas migration.
The organisation’s researchers, Katharine Betts and Bob Birrell, say the result shows a disconnect between the political elites’ commitment to high immigration policies and the concerns of voters.
In their analysis, they said the results are driven by the impact of population growth on people’s quality of life and the rapid change in Australia’s ethnic and religious make-up.
“Australian voters’ concern about immigration levels and ethnic diversity does not derive from economic adversity,” Betts and Birrell wrote in a report based on the survey.
“Rather, it stems from the increasingly obvious impact of population growth on their quality of life and the rapid change in Australia’s ethnic and religious make-up.”
The full TAPRI report can be read here.
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