Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised further cuts to migration and a freeze on refugee intake numbers if he is re-elected in next month’s general election.
The PM, who is currently trailing in the polls, has made immigration one of the key topics of this election, looking to take advantage of a growing public backlash regarding spiralling migration levels.
The overcrowding of Australia’s major cities is a sensitive issue amongst voters. Statistics show that 29 per cent of the country’s 25.3 million population were born overseas and migration levels now outstrip the birthrate.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics says net overseas migration in the year to September 2018 was 240,100. Morrison has pledged to cap annual migrant numbers at 160,000 people per year for the next four years if he is re-elected. However, this restriction would not include the more than 350,000 foreign students who are granted visas each year.
“Managing our population growth is very important to the quality of life that we have in our cities,” Morrison told a Liberal party rally in Sydney on Sunday.
Morrison also said that the annual refugee intake would be frozen at 18,750 people.
The 2019 Australian Federal Election is due to take place on Saturday 18th May.
Article published 29th April 2019