Uncle Sco: Liberal Prime Minister announces Five Year Plans

The plan came after the Nationals confirmed they would give “in-principle” support to the target earlier this week…

As part of the deal to secure the Nationals support, the Productivity Commission will review the new plan every five years to measure the impact reducing emissions has on regional communities.

“That will monitor the impact, the socio-economic impact, of our plans into the future,” Mr Morrison said. “So I can say to rural and regional Australians this is a good plan for you. It’s a good plan for all Australians.”

Judith Sloan demolishes a comparably dumb fantasy: Big Australia myths leave locals in limbo.
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26 Responses to Uncle Sco: Liberal Prime Minister announces Five Year Plans

  1. C.L. says:

    Of all the public policy areas in which the views of ordinary folk are continuously trampled by the preferences of the political class and self-serving elites, immigration is surely the standout.

    To be sure, there are others, but the persistent promotion of high migrant intakes, even during the depths of the pandemic, is further evidence that these interest groups are intent on getting their way. Sadly, it would seem that politicians are only too willing to oblige.

    In nearly every week over the past year or so, a university administrator would urge the federal or state governments to allow in international students. Various state governments endorsed a number of pilot schemes to allow groups of students to come into their states on a preferential basis, in addition to the limited spots for returning Australian residents.

    Most of these schemes came to nought, but they clearly pointed to the influence the higher education sector, in particular, wields on state governments.

    Various state treasurers (including Dominic Perrottet) and state education ministers would randomly quote various billions of dollars in gross benefits that international education could generate without any reference to the costs that international education also entail.

    Bizarrely, inexperienced federal Immigration Minister Alex Hawke decided the restrictions on the work rights of international students would be suspended as the pandemic continued to rage. The clear message was that granting visas to international students is less about education than about providing a plentiful and affordable supply of low-skilled workers for employers who don’t want to pay higher wages or invest in training locals.

    It’s worth recalling here some of the figures. Before Covid-19 emerged and the international borders were closed, there were close to 950,000 international student enrolments in Australia. This was close to double the number of enrolments in 2012. The three main countries from which international students came were China, India and Nepal, in that order.

    Just because international students have completed their studies doesn’t necessarily mean they leave the country. In fact, the number of students completing their studies and who were then granted temporary skilled graduate visas was growing strongly prior to Covid-19, more than doubling between 2015 and 2019. Those from India, China and Nepal, in that order, were most likely to stay.

    At the broader level, immigration to Australia had been running at very high levels up until 2020. Net overseas migration – the difference between the arrival of long-term migrants and the departure of long-term migrants – was running at 230,000 to 250,000 annually, 2½ times the rate that had pertained early in the century.

    NOM was contributing close to two-thirds of population growth, an extraordinarily high percentage. Note also that the majority of long-term migrants were piling into Sydney, Melbourne and southeast Queensland.

    While the federal government had bowed to public pressure to slightly reduce the permanent migrant intake from 190,000 to 160,000 per year prior to the pandemic, it has been obvious for some time that it now wants migrants to return in the same, or greater, numbers as soon as possible. This much was made clear in the most recent budget papers.

    (In a truly bizarre policy manoeuvre, the government was able to fill the 160,000 slots during the height of the pandemic by offering permanent visas to those holding temporary visas and living in Australia. What this has entailed is a significant dilution in the skill profile of the intake, with family and partner migrants preferenced by the decision. So much for the argument that migrants are needed to fill skilled job vacancies.)

    We have also had the NSW Treasury suggest that the number of migrants should be increased to 2 million over the next five years, implying NOM of 400,000 per year. The self-serving business sector as represented by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently released a report calling for an increase in the permanent intake to 190,000 per year, with emphasis on employer-sponsored slots. The claim is made that more skilled migrants are needed to fill the skill gaps that exist across the economy.

    But here’s the thing: when ordinary folk are asked if they want to see the numbers of migrants bounce back to their pre-pandemic levels or to increase even more, the response is overwhelmingly in the negative. Katharine Betts and Bob Birrell, of the Australian Population Research Institute, have recently asked a representative slice of the adult population about their preferences on future migration and population settings.

    Fewer than a fifth of respondents want a return to pre-pandemic NOM; in fact, 28 per cent expressed a preference for nil net migration. As the authors note, “there has been a distinct hardening of attitudes towards immigration”. Only a small minority of those surveyed want Big Australian migration levels restored.

    Even when it was pointed out that some employers are finding it difficult to find skilled workers, more than 60 per cent opted for “raising wages and improving skills training for locals” as the preferred alternative over bringing in migrants.

    Most respondents also didn’t want a return to pre-pandemic international student numbers.

    Of course, all politicians are aware of the views of ordinary folk about immigration and population. These trends have been apparent for some time, even if the hardening of attitudes since the pandemic is new news. But the likely outcome is that these views will be ignored given the pressure exerted by the interest groups for higher migrant intakes as well as the sugar hit to reported economic growth that will flow from a jump in migrant numbers.

    Does anyone really imagine that a treasurer will willingly forgo the chance to crow about higher GDP numbers next year – of course, GDP per capita will be another matter – as well as placate the lobbyists constantly begging to get their way?

    As for the argument that more migrants are needed to fill skill-job vacancies, let’s be clear on this issue. The permanent migrant program is not nearly as skill-biased as the government would have us believe. Nearly 19 per cent of the intake is employer-sponsored, where the visa applicant doesn’t really need to speak English. Only 12 per cent is “skilled independent”, but this includes secondary applicants who are significantly less qualified than the primary applicant.

    The state-nominated visa categories are a mixed bag when it comes to skills and regional visa holders are much less skilled than in the other skill categories. In other words, our immigration program is not “all about bringing in Silicon Valley types”, as Immigration Minister Hawke ludicrously suggested.

    In a world where there are widespread skill shortages and spikes in job resignation rates, it’s time Australia focused on paying people appropriately and training locals to fill these shortages. That message could even be a political winner.


    Judith Sloan, The Australian, today

  2. Rex Anger says:

    No wonderHomer Paxton has been retardedly venting his spleen about muh Univerzideeee multy-pliarz in that other thread

    He’s a star-spangled man in on the scam…

  3. Boambee John says:

    Rex A

    I doubt that he is the cream of the academic crop, particularly given his inability to punctuate his comments in any meaningful way. What he accepts for himself would be the maximum he would expect from any unfortunate student assigned to his tender mercies.

  4. Mak Siccar says:

    Being pedantic – Sloan not Sloane.

  5. Ed Case says:

    Scotty could do a lot more to help farm workers on piece rates, presently they pay 13c/$ flat rate, which deters novices, but if they stick to it and get into the big money, they end up with a huge Tax Debt, the ATO will want every last cent, and the only way out is to go on the Rock %&Roll and pay it off at $5/fortnight.
    And another good worker is lost.

  6. rosie says:

    Another thing Judith is right about.

  7. C.L. says:

    Anyone wanting a template for how to write a good column should study Sloan’s work.

  8. Entropy says:

    This is how the issue will play out:
    The SFL will announce a big return to immigration, particularly student visas around Christmas to suck up to the universities. The uni class will still campaign against the SFL.
    The ALP will keep it vague. The uni class will support them.

  9. a reader says:

    I still can’t get my head around whilst having a university sector like the UK or USA is a bad thing. Kick them out when they’re done though. No options to stay. Do university students in the USA or UK get to work?

  10. Entropy says:

    Foreign students go to those countries for a degree from a prestigious university.
    Here most of them are after immigration.

  11. Not Trampis says:

    Sloan is mixing up recent graduates with highly skilled immigrants.
    They already have the background and experience to slip into a job.

    A graduate has not and has to be trained in house. To be sure they are better placed to take advantage of that training however wages tell us employers do not value them as they should.

    She fails to tell us the numbers involved indeed even if the proportion has grown much at all.

  12. Rex Anger says:

    My other leg plays the Internationale if you want to give it a tug, Trampy… 😉

  13. Boambee John says:

    Non Compos Mentis neatly avoids discussing the student/immigration scam. It must be a bit close to the bone for him.

    wages tell us employers do not value them as they should.

    Having had some experience with them, I suggest that many are paid far too much for the knowledge and skills they bring with them.

    PS, good to see the improvement in your usually sloppy punctuation.

  14. Entropy says:

    I reckon it takes 3 years to train a graduate into something useful. I don’t know what they are taught at uni these days, other than absolutisms.

  15. Boambee John says:


    The best (non-graduate) I had working for me had moved straight into the workforce, and was studying part time. Bachelors degrees in the APS 25 years ago were adeqaute to get a job as a registry clerk, with the hope/plan of moving on to better things later.

  16. dover_beach says:

    The UAP and other right minor parties need to tap this rich vein. If they played it right they could attract a 1/5 of the vote of both major parties and cripple the Nats.

  17. dover_beach says:

    Yes, CL, Judith does write a column very well, indeed.

  18. Tel says:


    Take note of the Potemkin cardboard photo prints. Isn’t that weird? The technology to make photo-realistic images of vegetables, but not the ability to sell any actual vegetables.

  19. Not Trampis says:

    If Sloan had evidence then she would have produced it. She did not as usual.

    Reminds of the time Sloan alleged the ALP were not doing any budget consolidation. Naturally Davidson the Macroeconomic genius agreed.
    Only problem was as the kouk showed in his demolition was Soan did not use any figures from budget documents. We still do not know where her figures came from.

  20. Rex Anger says:

    You still crying about this, Homer Paxton?

    Go away and be irrelevant elsewhere.

  21. Boambee John says:

    Non Compos Mentis continues the desperate search for relevance, in the absence of students scamming immigration to fill in his/her/zer day.

    PS, there is plenty of evidence available (for those who seek it) about the public unpopularity of large scale immigration, including the student immigration scam.

  22. Not Trampis says:

    Sloan did not provide it.

    most people who are going to allege something provide the evidence.
    not sloan

  23. Boambee John says:

    Non Compos Mentis

    Have you ALWAYS provided the evidence for EVERY allegation you make? Or do you even occasionally assume that well informed people might be aware that the sun appears in the general easterly direction each morning?

    Or perhaps you are so totally uninformed about a subject on which you should (given your other arguments) be well informed, that you need to be led by the hand.

  24. Not Trampis says:

    I always do when writing articles.
    not providing evidence here was absurd but usual for sloan.

    your analogy is as equally absurd.
    She made an allegation and then fobbed it as usual. She has quite a history of doing this.

    and you are projecting yet again.

  25. Boambee John says:

    Non Compos Mentis

    How many articles do you have published in newspapers? Does the paper always include the references that you provide?

    PS, thank you for the psychological assessment about projecting. Please provide the academic references and interview notes upon which you based it. Or are you just a bullsh1t artist?

  26. Lee says:

    One thing is as near certainty as anything can be: ScoMo won’t be PM in five years, quite possibly not even in one year from now.

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