Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has reignited the debate around Australia’s immigration program, declaring that the federal government is “alive” to the impact which mass immigration is having on housing prices and traffic congestion throughout major Australian cities. Dutton, who has recently come under fire for alleged links to white nationalism, due to his public support for South African farmers facing racial persecution, is often a target of ridicule and abuse from the left, due to his hard right views on many issues. His stance on immigration in particular is considered quite controversial, given his advocacy for strong border protection policies.
Australia’s current migration program, which offers a maximum of 190,000 places for permanent migration, has come under attack in recent months, with former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and prominent business identity Dick Smith, both questioning the long term viability of current immigration levels. However, today’s admission from Dutton that Australia’s migration program is regularly discussed amongst members of Cabinet, suggests that the issue is now beginning to enter the mainstream of Australian political discourse. Particularly given Dutton’s rumoured Prime Ministerial ambitions, the issue may very well become part of the Liberal Party’s policy agenda in years to come. Time will tell.