One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is calling for a plebiscite to be held at the next federal election so Australians can have their say on migration levels.
According to an exclusive report by The Australian, Hanson will give notice on Thursday of her intention to introduce the bill when the parliament resumes later this year. Hanson believes everyday Australians haven’t actually had a say in the level of migration coming into the country.
It is believed Hanson wants to ask Australians what level of immigration we should be taking into Australia and what population number they think would be sustainable for Australia’s “way of life” and “standard of living”.
“You’ve got to have people who are actually voters in this country having a say on this,” Hanson told The Australian.
She also revealed she didn’t think it should be a postal vote, but rather something Australians vote on at the next federal election. As you will recall, last year’s non-compulsory postal vote questioning Australians whether they supported same-sex marriage cost taxpayers $132 million to distribute. Furthermore, that plebiscite wasn’t legally binding, although a bill was later passed when 61.6 per cent of those who voted were in favour of marriage equality.
Hanson’s calls for a vote on the matter come after recent Social Research Centre figures found the majority of Australians thought there were too many immigrants entering Australia. In the data, nearly 54 per cent of those surveyed said the migrant numbers were “too high” and up 14 points since last year’s poll. In contrast, around 10 per cent of people said migration levels were “too low”.
Hanson isn’t the only public figure to speak out about migration levels. Earlier this year, former prime minister Tony Abbott launched an unofficial campaign for tougher immigration laws, saying high immigration numbers puts extra pressure on housing availability and wages. Meanwhile, immigration minister Peter Dutton recently said it was a “no brainer” to force all migrants who want to live in Australia to learn the English language.
Those calls were echoed by Dick Smith, who recently told 2GB’s Chris Kenny that Australian cities wouldn’t be able to survive if immigrants continued to flood shores.
“I’ve spoke to lots of politicians and they’ve said, ‘I agree with you we should have a population policy’,” Smith said. “You can’t just keep increasing it until you have 1 billion people, one day you have to stop. They said, ‘look Dick, I couldn’t talk about it because I’ve been made out to be racist or xenophobic or against immigrations’.
Just last Month, Hanson appeared on Sky News where she also renewed her calls for tougher border laws and that people should have to wait at least eight years to get their citizenship, noting they have all the benefits of everyone else except the ability to vote.
“Why shouldn’t we take the time? Why shouldn’t they prove their worth to us?” she asked. “Why shouldn’t we see if they are of good character? Do the migrants coming into this country actually have to bring their criminal record, if they’ve got one, from the country they’re coming from?”