Immigration is always a hot political topic, but new research from The Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRI) has delivered a result that shows how people really feel about the issue. The national survey of Australian voters (undertaken in August 2017) revealed that the majority of the country believes Australia is “full”, and nearly half support either a full or partial ban on Muslim immigration.
Up to 74 per cent of voters surveyed by TAPRI believe that “Australia does not need more people”, with many believing that the overpopulating is “putting a lot of pressure on hospitals, roads, affordable housing and jobs”. The population growth has indeed been impressive, with 384,000 in the last year alone—60 per cent of which was thanks to overseas migration.
Though worries about infrastructure may have been the initially-stated reasoning behind the statistics, the report soon took a more specific swing at the Muslim population. One Nation voters taking part in the survey “were almost unanimous in wanting a reduction in immigration, in indicate that they feel that Australia ‘sometimes feels like a foreign country’, and in supporting a ban on Muslim immigration”.
The fact that 89 per cent of One Nation voters are opposed to more immigration will probably come as no surprise, given that One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has built her platform almost entirely on the topic. However, “a majority of current Liberal voters are concerned about immigration levels and about ethnic change in Australia”, and even Labor voters weren’t immune to the fear of change.
That being said, the report put Labor’s worries about immigration down to the fact that 63 per cent of its “current voting supporters are not university graduates, a group that is unlikely to support the party leaders’ enthusiasm for high migration and cultural diversity”.
After establishing that the global financial crisis was not a huge issue for Australians, the report stated that the nation’s general mentality towards immigration “does not derive from economic adversity. 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.”
You can read the full TAPRI report here.