A new survey showed that Australians are increasingly becoming concerned about the rise in immigration rates and population growth.
Among 1,026 respondents, 64% believe Australia’s immigration rate over the past decade has been too high. Meanwhile, 54% of respondents share the opinion that Australia’s population has been growing too fast.
Comparing results from the same survey taken five years ago, 50% of Australians back then thought immigration rates were rapid while 45% were concerned about rising population growth.
The survey results also revealed that Australians over the age of 45 were more concerned about immigration.
A sizeable majority of respondents, 63%, agreed with the belief of former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott who proposed that immigration levels should be pushed back because Australia’s big cities won’t be able to accommodate more jobs as the population rate continues to grow.
Abbott had been fiercely campaigning the last few months for the government to slow down the rate of immigration:
“We’re adding a city the size of Adelaide to our population every five years, and I think that we should significantly scale it back at least until infrastructure, housing stocks and integration have caught up, because just at the moment, there is no doubt that high levels of immigration, record levels, are putting downward pressure on wages, upward pressure on housing prices, and they’re making our roads almost impassable.”
55% of respondents stated while they believe immigration does have a positive impact on the economy, it should still be slowed down because it causes too much social change.
The survey also asked participating Australians to identify the top three problems facing the country’s major cities. The list reflected the main points of Abbott’s campaign: lack of affordable housing, lack of government spending on infrastructure and lack of employment opportunities which lead to inter-state migration.
Immigration has been the centre-point of politics. Current Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been waffling on immigration. He and his treasurer, Scott Morrison, have taken the position that immigration is necessary because Australia needs more skilled workers in order to boost economic growth.
The latest survey taken by Newspoll showed that PM Turnbull registered his 30th consecutive negative approval rating.