Most Australians want an end to mass immigration as the country’s soaring population is set to bounce above the 25 million mark within a month, an opinion poll shows.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott attributes the rise in part to the work of “ethnic activists” in the left-wing opposition Australian Labor Party.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates one person is being added every one minute and 23 seconds, meaning the 25 million milestone is set to be reached on August 8, less than three years after Australia raced past the 24 million mark.
With 190,000 moving to Australia every year in recent times, a Newspoll survey showed 72 percent of respondents wanted the net annual immigration pace to be slashed with the population forecast to hit 36 million by 2046.
The poll of 1,644 voters, published in the Australian newspaper, showed 83 percent of conservative-leaning Liberal and National party voters wanted immigration cut, compared with 64 percent of Labor supporters.
The result comes just days after a combination of tougher border controls and a determination to only take the best candidates was revealed to have pushed Australia’s migrant numbers to a 10-year low – but now it seems Australains want the number to come down even further.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he supports scaling back the nation’s permanent migration intake based on tougher entry requirements.
“We had more applications than ever so how did we achieve that? By being absolutely more fastidious and more scrupulous in ensuring that everyone who comes here is needed and is somebody we want,” Mr Turnbull said.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott belies that is not enough. He weighed in on the debate on Sydney radio station 2GB, urging the government to “get immigration significantly down.”
“We don’t need to be bringing in a city the size of Canberra every few years through immigration alone,” Mr. Abbott said, adding that the Labor Party was in the “grip of ethnic activists”.
“If the government wants to say, ‘look, there are these big distinctions between us and the Labor Party … support for a substantial cut in immigration is another area, because it seems that the Labor Party is in the grip of, I suppose, ethnic activists in certain respects, so good on Peter Dutton for administering the system in such a way that we’ve had a modest reduction in the permanent migration numbers,” Mr Abbott told 2GB.
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