On Tuesday our grandiosely titled Federal Minister for cities, urban infrastructure and population came up with the wonderful idea that since Melbourne and Sydney are clearly getting a bit crowded the government should encourage new migrants to move to regional areas.
And that was it. No policy idea. No plan of action. Just a thought bubble almost identical to the one Scott Morrison blurted out in August.
The general template seems set; the peasants are getting a little claustrophobic in the ant hills that not so long ago used to be liveable cities so make some vague noises about sending the hundreds of thousands of newcomers the government insists it needs to import each year somewhere less bothersome.
The only difference this time is that they managed to get the currently struggling and rather hapless looking Liberal NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to emit some vague sounding concerned noises as well.
No plan, no scheme, no policy proposal from our federal Liberal party geniuses. Just a quick “my isn’t it getting cramped” to let the proles know that they really do care about their concerns. So make sure to keep those votes coming like good little sheep yes?
The reason (or at least one of the reasons) that the pollies playing this game never bother to put any meat on the bones of their pronouncements is because any plan to move migrants permanently to rural and regional Australia would be a disaster.
Most areas outside the capital cities have higher than average unemployment and almost no capability to accept or employ large numbers of new job seekers in a short or even medium time frame.
The only way to keep new migrants out of the big cities on the coast would be to set up gigantic welfare ghettoes resulting in large conglomerations of unassimilable, unemployable, impoverished culturally alien populations with bags of resentment towards the wider Australian society which would only get worse with each successive generation.
What a wonderful idea. Let’s re-create the banlieues of France outside Wagga Wagga, Newcastle, Geelong and Townsville. What a fantastic concept.
Or maybe we could simply slow down or stop the migrant intake?
We do have over a quarter of our population born overseas at this point. Wouldn’t it be nice after the gigantic cultural and social upheaval that has been the almost unparalleled Australian mass immigration experiment of the last four decades if we let things settle for a decade or two? It would give everyone a chance to actually learn some English so we can order food off each other at least.
No apparently that would mean the end of the world. Politicians would actually have to try and implement policies to improve the economy instead of relying on property prices and an increasing population to give them flattering GDP growth numbers.
God forbid that we actually address the issues in our economy instead of just tipping ever more bucket-fulls of people into crowded streets and suburbs hoping that by the time the Ponzi scheme collapses the people responsible have retired to a nice board position on a suspiciously prosperous Chinese company.
No opposing such things is clearly racism, fascism and perhaps even neo-Nazism. Better to keep listening to the nice noises our “leaders” in Canberra make.
After all I’m sure they have our best interests at heart.