Expert warning to slash migrant intake
By John Masanauskas
The Herald Sun (Australia), March 24, 2010
Traditions based on heritage, sporting culture and common language are threatened by mass migration, a leading demographer has warned.
Monash University population expert Dr Bob Birrell said the huge influx of people with few or no English skills had created social problems in suburbs such as Dandenong, Sunshine and Broadmeadows.
'This is not a pretty picture,' he said.
'Social divisions are becoming more obvious and geographically concentrated (and certain areas) are being overlain by an ethnic identification.'
Dr Birrell made the explosive comments in an article for the Centre of Independent Studies magazine Policy.
In a plea to the Rudd Government to slash the current migrant intake of 180,000 a year, Dr Birrell warned that the predicted population of 36 million by 2050 would be a disaster for urban living and the environment.
'One would have to wander deaf, dumb and blind through Australian capital cities to not notice how urban congestion has already reduced the quality of life,' he said.
'Why are Labor elites apparently unmoved by these concerns?'
The intake dominated by people from non-English speaking backgrounds was transforming Australia, Dr Birrell said.
'We are losing core elements of what was once shared. Almost all could once aspire to a house and land … and sharing a common language, sporting culture and heritage,' he said.
But mass migration was creating ethnic enclaves in suburbs with cheap housing, and planning rules were forcing Australian-born 'losers' and non-English speaking background migrants to live in congested neighbourhoods, 'cheek by jowl'.
Almost 60 per cent of current migrants to Victoria are Asian-born, followed by Europe (13.2 per cent) and Middle East/North Africa (8 per cent).