TAKING “THE NATION OF MIGRANTS” A BIT TOO FAR – We need to do it better and smarter or something is gonna give:
Writing in The Weekend Australian today, Salt says Australian cities do not have the racial mix of US cities, but do have large concentrations of Anglo and non-Anglo populations that cluster. Across urban Sydney, 39 per cent of the population was born outside Australia — compared with 29 per cent in greater New York, Paris (22 per cent), Berlin (13 per cent) Tokyo (2 per cent) and Shanghai (1 per cent).
“No other nation, and few other developed-world cities … accommodate the scale of immigration that is right now being injected into Australia’s biggest city,” Salt writes.
The influx of migrants to Sydney’s west — in Fairfield, Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown and Parramatta — has placed enormous strain on services that have not kept pace with population growth. But these areas face other problems. While the in-shifting cohort is more likely than locals to have a tertiary qualification, a lack of jobs awaits them, fuelling overall economic decline with low incomes and poverty encouraging some ethnic groups to shut themselves off further from the wider community. At the same time, better-off locals — mainly Australian-born but also financially successful migrants — have moved out to areas including the Hills Shire (16,100), Campbelltown (11,000), Camden (9800) and the central coast (9000).
To paraphrase Caesar speaking of his wife, all immigration not only has to be in the national interest but has to be seen to be in the national interest. Otherwise, the popular support declines and as the counter-reaction takes hold we then risk throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The easiest way to cause that popular support to decline is to throw open the doors, pat ourselves on the back for being such good global citizens, and then wash our hands, because once the migrants are already here in Australia things will take care of themselves. As I, and many others, have written frequently before, it’s not the loudest advocates of “generous migrant intake”, “multiculturalism” and “diversity” that have to cope every day with the social and economic consequences of mass immigration – it’s the case of the working class outer suburbs going through massive upheavals as they are paying the price for the warm, self-congratulatory feeling of the trendy inner cities, where every second resident is a doctor’s wife.
I’m a first generation Australian. I believe that immigration, when done properly, brings considerable benefits to the host nation. But the “done properly” thing is crucial. Immigration, multiculturalism and diversity are not the ends in the themselves, contrary to what many of their more enthusiastic fans like to believe. We need to ensure that our infrastructure can cope with the additional demand, that our economy can absorb the often low-skilled and low-English proficient arrivals, and that they can otherwise fit into the social and the political fabric of our nation. Putting a stamp into a passport at the airport is the easiest part of the process; it’s what comes next that can make or break the immigration system and the society itself.