THE BS DETECTOR
The BS detector went into overdrive in the Australian Financial Review’s report of Wednesday 30 March pp1 and 4, “Skills suffer as migration dives.”
It said MacroPlan Australia’s Jason Anderson “warned” that if these trends continued, net annual overseas migration might decline to 150,000 people in the year to June, “half the number of two years earlier”.
Neither Mr Anderson nor the article pointed out that until 2007, 150,000 had only been passed once in over 30 years. It’s an historically very high number, not a low one.
Moreover we remain well above 150,000 – the year to September 2010 saw net overseas migration at 185,00 – more than enough to deliver the Big Australia of 36 million which most Australians don’t want.
It quoted the Commonwealth Bank’s Michael Workman saying there is a demand for people not only in the mining sector, but also utilities, construction, engineering and labour services. “They are all going to grow strongly and they will need to get people from somewhere.” Why shouldn’t that somewhere be Australia, Mr Workman?
Greg Evans from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said if we don’t have more skilled migration it will “delay important projects and expansion opportunities.” Sounds terrible, but is it?
Resources aren’t going away, they are likely to be worth even more in future.
We don’t need to blow what is a once in a lifetime inheritance – we can let our children and grandchildren have a bit too. If we try to expand too fast, we hurt manufacturing with a rising dollar, and we run the risk of the Reserve Bank stepping in with interest rate rises to slow the show down – the public policy equivalent of driving a car with one foot on the accelerator and the other foot on the brake.
KELVIN THOMSON MP
Member for Wills
Monday 4th April, 2011