Business rejects migrant cut

Patricia Karvelas; 7/4/10; (3 Items)

The Coalition’s plan to cut immigration numbers has thrown it on to a collision course with major business groups, which say they will fight the policy over fears it could threaten Australia’s productivity. The strong business reaction came after The Australian yesterday reported comments by opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison that immigration was out of control and net overseas migration, which was running at about 300,000 people a year, needed to be cut back. Although Mr Morrison said he would retain the skilled migrant intake, that failed to appease business. Business Council of Australia president Graham Bradley said big business would resist any attempts to cut immigrant numbers. “You must look at this issue on a multi-year dimension, and not overreact to short-term statistics,” he said.

See:; Desperate journey to call Australia home; Stephen Fitzpatrick; 7/4/10;

Deserving of compassion
7/4/10l Letters:
Malcolm Brown (Talking Point, 6/4) rather glibly tells us that his antipathy towards boatpeople is due to their failure to queue, and compares it to queues for concerts and footballs matches. Perhaps he could enlighten us as to the last occasion on which concertgoers were forced to queue for five years in depravity and squalor? When was the last time those seeking tickets to the AFL grand final had to endure persecution, torture, rape and murder? And of those queuing for the right to see the NRL final live in 2010, how many children will die of malnutrition, and how many of the elderly will succumb to entirely preventable diseases?
The situation is far more complex than Brown acknowledges. To portray the desperate attempts of people to save the lives of themselves and their families as a simple act of avarice demonstrates a poor understanding of the circumstances of and the consequences for the lives of many asylum-seekers who are, after all, found to be entirely deserving of compassion once they finally arrive here. Stephen Morgan, Runcorn, Qld
Malcolm Brown’s suggested social experiment on queue-jumping could include a parallel experiment where a small group of severely disabled people attempt to jump a queue for concert or grand final tickets. My guess is that the queue would accommodate these people out of compassion. This is what Peter van Onselen is arguing for boatpeople. Geoff Appelt, Greenwith, SA

Migration can end worldwide poverty
Mirko Bagaric;7/4/10
The migration debate being played out with a view to reducing the influx of foreigners is a sure sign of the parochial and small-minded nature of political and social discourse. Even in the supposed enlightenment of the 21st century, most still prefer people of their own type and find different cultures jarring. Foreigners are tolerated, but only to the extent that they have something to offer. Australians are not alone in this miserable mindset. It is in the human DNA. That’s the reason it is virtually impossible to become a citizen of even ”progressive” countries such as Japan and Sweden. Yet the reality and universality of racism does not justify it. In fact, racism will be our major shame in the eyes of future generations. It is the principal cause of preventable suffering.