The Albanese government has been accused of presiding over a record immigration rate with “no plan” to deal with the consequences.
Almost 620,000 people have arrived in Australia in 2022, leading Australia’s population to increase by almost 500,000 – the highest rate on record.
Speaking about the increase on Englishheadline Australia, shadow immigration minister Dan Tehan accused the government of imposing a “big Australia by stealth” – a reference to Kevin Rudd’s Big Australia policy from 2009.
“We now know that there are two and a half million temporary visa holders in Australia at the moment; it’s increased by 750,000 under this Labor government,” Mr Tehan told Englishheadline host Peta Credlin.
“We know we’ve got the record net overseas migration occurring 1.5 million over five years.
“When it comes to those with failed asylum seeker claims those who came by plane and are now seeking asylum, we’ve got 70,000 of those waiting.
“And then there’s the COVID visa where they’ve issued more COVID visas post the pandemic than the Coalition did during COVID.
“So everywhere we look, it’s big Australia. And… there is no plan to deal with where are we going to put them.”
The shadow immigration minister said the government ought to have a clear immigration plan, since the latest number of new arrivals affected countless other policy areas.
“There should be a plan for all those reasons that you’ve mentioned,” Mr Tehan said.
“The impact that it has on our transport infrastructure, the impact that it has on the environment, the impact that it has on housing… education, news schools.”
In addition to failing to plan for the impact of immigration, Mr Tehan said the Labor government were also removing policies the previous government put in place to encourage new migrants to settle in rural and regional areas where there are workforce shortages.
“We’re seeing suburbs expanding in Sydney and Melbourne again. And you know, the Andrews government has just cut key pieces of public transport infrastructure to those suburbs,” he said.
“All these things just show there is not a plan at all. And what we need to see is local, state and federal governments working together in this area to make sure there is a plan so that we get a better Australia, not Labor’s big Australia.
“And at the moment, it’s Labor’s big Australia as far as the eyes can look.”