New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced her plans to reduce the amount of immigrants moving to New South Wales from overseas, by up to 50 per cent. Berejiklian made the remarks whilst speaking with Channel Nine’s Today show earlier this morning, explaining how “(the New South Wales State Government) is building more roads and rails, schools and hospitals, than ever before in our state. We are playing catch-up and we need to take a breather to make sure that we have that infrastructure in place and to make sure that our population growth is sustainable.” The Premier then went on to call for the current state wide immigrant intake in New South Wales to be slashed from its current level — approximately 100,000 annually, to less than half this figure, with 45,000 cited as her preferred annual intake.
Berejiklian’s comments were made following months of speculation from federal cabinet ministers about the possibility of Australia’s immigration intake being slashed, with Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton also expressing similar sentiments earlier this year in April. Despite the fact that State Governments in Australia are unable to directly legislate for federal policy concerns such as immigration, Berejiklian explained how she intends to discuss her concerns with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the near future. Beyond just placing added pressure on local infrastructure, Australian voters have also expressed similar concerns relating to the impact which the nation’s mass immigration policies are having on other areas, including housing affordability, crime rates, and preservation of Australian cultural identity, particularly within our major cities. With Australia’s overall total population having already surpassed 25 million people earlier this year, it remains to be seen whether necessary action will be taken by the federal government in order to address nationwide concerns relating to mass immigration. Time will tell.