Lib(eral)s Call For Immigration Cut (Australia)

Libs call for immigration cut
August 15, 2006
The Australian

THE Victorian Liberals are calling for a cut in immigration to Australia, while also saying climate change, the end of cheap oil and diminishing water supplies are of concern to the community.

A suburban Liberal party branch will put a proposal to the party's state council this weekend their last meeting before the November state election.

In its motion the Berwick branch, in Melbourne's fast-growing outer southeast, notes the “rising community concern” about climate change, the end of cheap oil and diminishing water supplies.

Taken together, the emerging scarcities and environmental problems “provide a rising threat to the quality of life and the stability of our society”, their motion warns.

Some of their argument might strike a chord with federal Treasurer Peter Costello, who will address the council along with Ted Baillieu, who faces the party meeting as the Liberal's state leader for the first time.

Mr Costello has long said Australia must “populate or perish”, but last month courted controversy when he linked his familiar theme with immigration levels.

Launching the national census last month, the federal treasurer warned Australians must breed more or see its population transformed by immigration.

Mr Costello said raising immigration to compensate for declining fertility would change the composition of Australia's population and raise concerns about social division.

The Victorian Liberals said they are worried about both the population level and immigration numbers as global calamities loom.

“The massive increase in human population globally has only been possible because of cheap oil to provide mechanical power, nitrogenous fertiliser, herbicide and insecticide,” the Berwick branch motion says.

“Without these additions, food production could well fall to one tenth of what it is now.

“It should be noted that the earth's resources are finite and cannot support a rising population either on an international or a local basis.”