The Morrison Government this week announced that it was cutting Australia’s annual migration intake from 190,000 to 160,000 per year over a four year period.
To their credit they proceeded with this scheduled despite the left and the media, including Opposition Leader Bill Shorten claiming in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack that “dog-whistling” on immigration and asylum seekers needed to end.
Our high migration intake and rapid population increase has been a constant issue of concern for voters, not just due to integration concerns but the strain it has put in infrastructure in our major cities, others have alleged that our high migration intake is to blame for wage growth remaining stagnant.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the policy announcement with Immigration Minister David Coleman and Population Alan Tudge where it was stressed the announcement was to do with easing the strains our cities, nothing to do with race or culture, with Morrison stating “These changes are about easing population pressures in our biggest cities”.
Also outlined at the press conference was the implementation of the long discussed proposal of having migrants settled in regional Australia. This will be through having 23,000 ‘geographically restricted’ skilled visas for regional areas.
But in keeping the Morrison’s Government reaffirmed support for multiculturalism and of course the religion of Islam, David Coleman also acting as Multicultural Affairs Minister announced $71 million towards multiculturalism programs aimed to “promote, encourage, celebrate multicultural Australia”.
$2.2 million will go to religious tolerance education charity Together for Humanity which is chaired retired teacher and former Liberal Party president Chris McDiven. Coleman said “It is so important as a society that we are cognisant and accepting of our differences,” and that “Religious freedom is so fundamental to this nation”.
Last week the Morrison Government announced its continued funding to the tune of $1.2 million of the AFL’s Bachal Houli Cup. It aims to have boys and girls from Islamic backgrounds develop their football skills while learning about their religion and culture.
Add to that in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shooting Scott Morrison had announced $39 million in ‘community safety grants’ with a priority placed on security at ‘religious schools, places of religious worship and religious assembly’ which included “CCTV cameras, lighting, fencing, bollards, alarms, security systems and public address systems.”
It clear from the announcement of the multicultural grants that the Morrison Government is looking for a way to appease the left’s current line of attack that they have helped foster of racial and cultural division in Australia, and hence partly inspired the Christchurch shooter.
Morrison himself has been desperate to refute an old Fairfax story from 2011 which alleged he wanted to exploit anti-Muslim sentiment in the community for electoral advantage.
It should be remembered that these announcements are not just meaningless exercises in virtue signalling, but cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
Perhaps an emotive time post a terrible tragedy motivated by religious hatred is not the best time to be throwing money around on multicultural programs. It also won’t appease the left who view any conversation about immigration as racist dog whistling.