Australians want the government to pause its migrant intake until schools, roads, houses and hospitals are built to accommodate them, a new poll states.
A survey of 1,000 respondents conducted by the Institute of Public Affairs found 60 per cent backed a temporary pause in immigration ‘until economic and social infrastructure’ was built for them.
Australians from the over 65s and 35-44 year age groups backed the proposition the most. Some 23 per cent of respondents were opposed to the idea, while 17 per cent were unsure about pausing immigration for the first time since the 2020 and 2021 Covid border closure.
The poll was revealed on Monday morning – the same day Labor revealed details of an immigration crackdown.
More than 400,000 migrants are moving to Australia in a year and new data due out this week is expected to show a record net annual intake of 500,000 in 2022-23.
That figure would include 195,000 permanent arrivals, with international students making up the bulk of the long-term influx.
Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil on Monday announced a clamp down on student visas and ‘visa hopping’, while making it easier for highly skilled migrants to work in Australia, as part of a major overhaul to fix the ‘broken’ migration system.
The IPA report estimated Australia will be confronted with a housing supply shortfall of of at least 252,800 housing units by 2028. Above, a queue to inspect a property
The IPA poll found some 71 per cent of respondents agreed they were ‘concerned the current migration intake is making it harder for young Australians to afford their own home’.
Young people aged 18-24 had the lowest rate of agreement with that statement at 68 per cent, while 77 per cent of over 65s agreed.
Just 12 per cent disagreed with the proposition, while 17 per cent were again unsure.
Some 33 per cent of respondents said the government had found the right balance with migration over the next five years, when asked their opinion on the 1.5million further migrants estimated to arrive in Australia by 2028.
62 per cent said that was too many people, while just five per cent argued it was not enough.
The poll comes after the government announced an additional change at the weekend that foreigners who buy houses in Australia and leave them empty will be hit with a massive tax hike.
This is designed to get rid of so-called ‘ghost mansions’ in some of Australia’s wealthiest suburbs – houses left empty as the owners watch their value rise.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers is also set to announce plans to help ease the rental crisis, such as cuts to fees paid by overseas investors who want to build homes to rent.
On Saturday, Mr Albanese said the government would bring immigration back to what he believes is a sustainable level after a huge post-Covid increase.
The overhaul follows a review which found Australia’s immigration system was ‘badly broken’ and in need of a 10-year rebuild, he said.
‘What we know is that we need to have a migration system that enables Australia to get the skills that we need but make sure the system is working in the interests of all Australians,’ he said.
Shadow Minister for Immmigration and Citizenship Dan Tehan told Daily Mail Australia he felt for everyday Australians who are already feeling the pinch as the cost-of-living crisis hits
The Prime Minister said there was always going to be a jump in immigration after Covid-19, but that current projections were lower than before Australia shut its borders during the pandemic.
Treasury forecasts also showed the intake is expected to decline substantially over the coming financial year.
The review, conducted by former Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet head Martin Parkinson, found abuses of Australia’s acceptance of international students.
‘People are coming here, enrolling in courses that don’t really add substantially to either their skills base or to the national interest here,’ Mr Albanese said.
‘So it’s not in the interests of our neighbours, nor is it in the interests of Australia, that there not be a crackdown on this. We’re determined to do that.’
He said the review ‘found that it was a deliberate decision to neglect the system and that it was so badly broken, according to Parkinson, it required a 10-year rebuild. Well, we are determined to fix this.’
Among the changes to be announced in the coming days will be stronger English language proficiency requirements for students.
Opposition immigration spokesman Dan Tehan told Daily Mail Australia he felt for everyday Australians who are already feeling the pinch as the cost-of-living crisis hits.
‘Australians who can’t find a place to live or are struggling to pay multiple rent increases are asking Labor: where will all these people live?’ he said.
Mr Tehan said this new IPA data indicates yet another example of Labor ‘making a mess out of immigration’ after the November 8 High Court decision which allowed 148 asylum seekers – some of whom have been described as hardcore criminals – to walk free in the community.
At least five have already gone on to be charged or arrested in connection with offences.
Daily Mail Australia can reveal 60 per cent of respondents were in favour of a temporary pause to its intake of new immigrants ‘until more economic and social infrastructure, such as schools, roads, hospitals and houses, are built’
Net migration has shot up, while natural increases in population has steadily declined
‘Labor says they don’t want a big Australia but judge them by their actions, not their words,’ he said.
The IPA report found that over the past three decades governments have been increasingly reliant on population growth to stimulate economic growth, but that per capita growth, as a direct measure of living standards, has actually slowed.
This means that while on paper Australia looks like it’s doing better, most households are actually feeling the pinch more than they have in the past.
On a per capita basis, Australians were approximately $7,848 poorer in 2023, according to the research.
The report found ‘in the 2023 financial year, labour productivity in Australia declined by approximately 3.6 percent — the most severe decline since at least 1980 — while the country experienced the highest population growth on record’.
According to the research, the government’s migration intake commitment will result in 1.75 million additional people in Australia by 2023.
‘This influx in migration will exacerbate the current housing crisis faced by Australians and recent migrants themselves,’ the report stated.
‘IPA research estimates that over the course of the period, Australia will be confronted with a housing supply shortfall of of at least 252,800 housing units.’
Speaking to the data, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs Daniel Wild said the mass migration program is ‘crippling the day-to-day lived experience of the average Australian through congestion on our roads, and shortages to housing, child care, and key medical services.
‘Australia needs a proper debate about the size of our migration program, which has grown at an unprecedented rate without planning and without community consent.
‘Australia is the world’s most welcoming and tolerant nation, and migration will aways be critical, but it must be planned for and undertaken in a manner that is consistent with our national values.’
Treasury forecast a net overseas migration rate of 315,000 in 2023-24 but the net arrivals tally of 429,580 in the year to September shows the population is still growing at a faster pace than predicted.