A dramatic change in the migration program over the past year will place a greater burden on Australian taxpayers at a time when they can least afford it.
One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson said that in 2020-21, the program had seen a massive rise in places for the family stream of the program at the expense of skilled immigrants.
“For the past decade the skills stream accounted for more than two thirds of places under Australia’s migration program while the family stream accounted for less than one third,” Senator Hanson said.
“This all changed in 2020-21 when the family stream rose to 49.3% of places in the program, a total of more than 77,000 people and just short of the 79,000 or so people brought in under the skills stream.
“Under the cover of COVID-19 the Morrison Government has substantially increased the numbers of unskilled immigrants who will sponge up more taxpayer resources by about 50% rather than prioritising immigrants who can contribute much needed skills to our workforce and economy while not being a burden on social welfare.
“This is a giant ponzi scheme that Scott Morrison knows Australia cannot afford.
“Another concern from the latest migration program figures is that the vast majority of immigrants – almost 90,000 out of 160,000 – signalled their intention to reside in New South Wales or Victoria, which really means Sydney and Melbourne.
“These are cities that are already struggling with housing supply and affordability as well as hospital bed shortages, road congestion and out-of-control outbreaks of COVID-19.
“Another 22,900 people intended to reside in Queensland.
“What on earth is this Prime Minister doing? We already have the Australian Medical Association of Queensland (AMAQ) suggesting the sunshine state can’t cope with hospital patients as it is, and here he is flooding another 23,000 people into my home state.
“The Prime Minister and Treasurer are cooking the books with immigration numbers and Australians need to be concerned.
“So much for a closed international border during the pandemic. More than 160,000 people have moved to Australia in the 2020-21 migration program. More than 1.67 million people have come across our international border during this pandemic while millions of Australian citizens can’t even cross state borders or leave their homes.”
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