Baird calls for immigration to make Australia lucky again 220




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Premier Mike Baird has again put his oratory skills to good use, calling for Australians to embrace our history of helping and supporting refugees to welcome a new wave of opportunity to Australia.  In a controversial Australia Day speech on Friday, Mike Baird kicked Australians for trying to ignore the fact that a lot of our country’s success is due to migrants, and warned of the danger of anti-immigration stances that are starting to be seen here and in other countries worldwide.  His popular appeal may have the message heard widely but is it a stance that many Australians are happy about given terror fears that have been rippling the world?

In his speech, Baird drew on a poignant example of migrant, Deng Thiak Adut, a former Sudanese child soldier who emigrated and has grown to become a refugee lawyer who serves his community and helps them.

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Deng Thiak Adut (Source: ABC News)

“Deng is what happens when generosity meets opportunity.

“We are one of he most successful and multicultural nations in the world,” Mr Baird said.

“But I believe we are potentially at risk of losing what makes Australia the best place in the world to live, because some want to shut our doors and avert their eyes.”

“What an amazing country we are part of,” he said.

“Because we welcomed Deng, we sheltered him, we gave him clothes, food and a chance to learn, and he seized that opportunity, and now he is working in his community giving back to those who, like him, once had no voice.”

“To shut our doors to refugees, as many here and around the world are calling for, is to deny our history, to deny our character,” said the NSW Premier.

“My genuine and honest fear is what will happen to Australia if shut people such as Deng out, whether it be out of fear or ignorance.”

The Premier said to his waiting audience that Australia must face threats and arm its security forces to protect the borders appropriately.

“But we must not lose sight of who we are that makes us so great”

“I say we have a choice: We can continue on the path that brought this nation to where we are today, or we can let fear blind us and fear infect us.

“To shut our doors to refugees, as many here and around the world are calling for, is to deny our history, to deny our character.

“In a quest for personal comfort let us not sacrifice who we are above all, which is welcoming, compassionate and inclusive.”

Do you agree with Mike Baird or do you think we are in a different era for refugees?  Let’s talk about this today as we head into Australia Day.


Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I agree with him. An increase in population will mean an increase in the economy. You have more people spending money, so an increase in demand, which means supply will increase and more jobs created. (A basic explanation of how it all works, but work it does) However, we will now see all the people with no economics background come out of the woodwork and say “But they will steal our jobs!”

    4 REPLY
    • Lindi Jarman no jobs now the only answer is sponsorship like in the post war years wher a family or organization take responsibility for them in employment education and assimilation

    • The only immigrants we want are non-Moslem immigrants. To take any more moslems is cultural and societal suicide. There are numerous countries that have been taken over by Islam through it’s violent and non-violent jihad. Mike Baird is a fool if he thinks we can accept large numbers of moslem immigrants without the rapes, honour killings, pedophilia and so on that is evident overseas in most left wing European countries..

  2. I agree with him. An increase in population will mean an increase in the economy. You have more people spending money, so an increase in demand, which means supply will increase and more jobs created. (A basic explanation of how it all works, but work it does) However, we will now see all the people with no economics background come out of the woodwork and say “But they will steal our jobs!”

    26 REPLY
    • Lindi Jarman no jobs now the only answer is sponsorship like in the post war years wher a family or organization take responsibility for them in employment education and assimilation

    • Brian, do you have a reference to something about that? I cannot find one, except for the Aus Govt contributing towards their fares, providing them with shelter for approx 6 weeks, and requiring all over 16 to work for 2 years. As to jobs being lost in Australia, blame the Governments for sending work overseas instead of boosting employment here. They are about to lay off 20% of the ATO workers and outsource to the Philippines. Just not logical. Add to that their desire to increase 457 visas and lower the requirements (see the recent China Trade Agreement), we are heading for even more unemployment. Get rid of those sorts of things, increase Immigration, and we will see the increase in jobs.

    • Australia need skilled young workers . Not more unskilled none English speaking religious minorities that go on Centrelink and keep having more kids to get more taxpayers money .

    • Lindi .You can give thanks to Labor Unions for job loses when they get over paid to do the same job that can be done overseas in Countries with less Red Tape and workers willing to work for less $$$$$

    • Christine Remnant, if you look at the people who are fleeing Syria, you will find as many skilled people among them as you would find in our white population. The problem we currently have, is that many of our asylum seekers and refugees are here with temporary visas and one of the rules they have to abide by is that they are not allowed to work! Blame the Government, not those people who would dearly love to work to support their families. Volunteer at a Refugee Centre for a few days. You will soon see they want to be included in our lifestyle.

    • Linda Jarman you say bringing in migrants will mean more money spent in the economy…sounds good but pray tell where are all the jobs coming from when we already have a large number of unemployed and NO Linda they are not all dole bludgers just poor devils who want a job and there is none avaiable. Havent you noticed that the large companies are moving off shore as fast as they can and dont blame high wages because the only Aussies who have recieved a decent pay rise in the last ten years are politicans executive officers and upper management. They are all moving because of tax incentives and large subsidies so that these companies will go to asian and third worl countries and provide employment…and then they expect to sell the product in Australia. The only problem is that the money cupboard is bare and the credit cards are maxed out.

    • Christine: So would you be prepared to work 6 or 7 days a week with no sick days, no paid holidays and very little money and no safety concerns, as overseas workers do? Because that’s what happened before Unions. Rather than blame Unions, blame the big companies that don’t pay taxes, get Government subsidies, yet still make Billions of profit!

    • Linda Jarman i dont know where you are looking but sponsership was quite common in the 60s and 70s and quite often it was the only way that you could gain entry into Australia

    • Joan Savell I think you have mixed up who you are addressing in your comment. I agree with most of what you say – never said otherwise. As to migrants spending more in the economy, it does and will happen. Proven time and time and time again all over the world. Re the sponsorship deals, Brian stated post war and THAT is what I was looking for, not 60s and 70s. Besides, I didn’t say he was wrong, I just asked for a reference. I don’t know if they did or not, but I like to research the facts rather than believe or disbelieve an unreferenced statement.

    • Lindi Jarman it was happening before unions linda and it is happening again now because of the very low union membership numbers the unions dont generate enough strength and power. The why of low membership can be found in peoples belief that unions are crooks and trouble makers…the silly chooks cannot see that it was the unions and the unions alone that held the profit munchers at bay from the beginning of the 20th century and yet the people who wont join unions and caste aspersions on unions a more than happy to accept annual leave.sick leave..reasonable wages 40 hour week and all the other hard won union benifits.

    • Lindi Jarman my dear lady 60s and 70s was post war unless you think the vietnam war was the one being referred to.

    • Lindi Jarman about wanting a reference from Brian it is possible he could be around my age (73) and we dont need wickepedia we are still in pocession of our good memories not all of us suffer from dementia.

    • Joan Savell my dear lady, I was referring to the late 40s and 50s when I grew up in an outer suburb with lots if migrants from Russia, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Holland, and Hungary.

    • and Joan, why are you accusing me of saying things I have not said? From what I can see, we agree about everything except immigrants creating jobs. We agree on government waste, we agree about unemployed, the unions, etc etc etc. As to wanting a reference, ok, you are a few years older than I am (not many), but that doesn’t mean our age bracket remembers everything accurately. I have no knowledge of any migrants in my youth having sponsors. I would like to know more about it. I like to check facts.

    • Sponsoring as I remember it was, you agreed that the person coming to Australia would either be employed by you or you would guarantee the person would not cost the government any money for at least 2years, because you would house and feed them etc. correct me if I am wrong

    • Zoe Jackson which years? I know the Government sponsored many immigrants from time to time, though not all came out under government sponsorship. Some paid their own way. However, I cannot find any info of other sponsorships straight after WWII. i would be interested to know details if you know of any links to info..

    • Lindi i grant you that in the 40s and 50s we had a large number of £10 poms quite a . number of assisted Italians and Yugoslavs Lebanese . At the end of the forties we finally started to get the refugees from middle europe and Holland . All these migrants had one thing in common the had a limited time to find a job and to then find a home and leave the emigration centres such as the one near warwick farm and the one at riverwood and 99% of them were able to honour their assustance contracts and made a good job of earning a living getting a home rearing their kids in such a way as to retain their food and certain customs but quite happily accepting Australian customs and after an initial stage of suspicion from both sides everthing settled quite happily. Unfortunately the type of emigrant we are getting today are a far different kettle of fish the arrive with a huge chip in the shoulder and they are full of the belief that we owe them a living and a free pay packet and they want to impose their law on the country. Because so many of them are on welfare the really are not helping the economy to grow. Now we are seeing huge numbers of emigrants descending on Europe and they alsi carry the same chip and the same belief that it is their right to access any welfare bebifits available it is a huge human tragedy and unfortunately the people will never settle comfortably and happily into their adopted countries…The world is going to have a huge upheavel and heavens knows what we will do about it but you can bet no matter what we offer this batch of “refugees ” will not be happy.

    • Christine Remnant what do you think a fair wage would be for a laborer or a checkout operator or hospitality worker i dont like you saying overseas workers can do it cheaper, we live in Australia and should not have to lower our living conditions to the same as many of these overseas countrys.

    • Joan Savell It was the Govt that destroyed the unions strength. it is not particularly the union numbers. And we do have to admit they were very strong and sometimes were misrepresented and held the country to ransom. Although they created better working conditions and working hours, they did let power go to their heads, for example; when they tied up the docks for weeks on end. A lot of members lost weeks of wages, goods were tied up on the docks and even life saving medications could not be moved and people died. The Govt used that one to their advantage.which was wrong. If they had used a reasonable approach I am sure the unions would have moved any life saving drugs and perishable. Because of media bias, we did not hear a lot about that. Both were to blame for those tumultuous times.

    • Joan Savell They do arrive with a huge chip on their shoulders and they have every right to feel that way considering the way they have lived their lives. But in asking these people here, the Govt needs to accept the responsibility to help them learn to live again without that chip on their shoulder, looking back to see who has the machetes and the guns or stepping on mines etc. They have to learn to live peacefully again, and they are not. Certainly not enough help is offered, and locking them up indefinitely will only make things worse for them, and for us.

    • Linda, I think it was late 1950 not sure, sorry. It was after the ten pound UK immigrants . And when you could get Oz citizenship if you married an Australian. Long time for me to remember back.

    • Zoe Jackson I wasn’t quite a teenager then, so would not have known about about it, even though my playmates were from other countries. That is why I am so interested – my era, but I was too young to know all the political and social details like that.

    • The problem with the economic model you speak about is that it increases demand and supply, but has societal effects that make it unsustainable. For example, when we bring in thousands of people who are illiterate, who will pay for them to learn English – and for Centrelink while they are unemployable? What about the immigrants whose religion and culture makes them a poor fit? It’s not all about economics. Economics might be good for the pie seller or the clothing sales people, but there is a larger picture.

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