Top Government minister says immigration is vital for future of Australia

by Ray Clancy on October 5, 2016

in Australia Immigration

Immigration and foreign investment is vital for the future of Australia and banning certain people would result in cutting off the country from sources of prosperity for over 200 years, it is claimed.

Treasurer Scott Morrison believes that Australia must embrace immigration and has hit out at recent evidence that a large portion of the population would like to see Muslims banned from living in the country.

AUSTRALIAindiaImmigration is a particularly hot potato in Australia at the moment, with a poll finding that almost half of Australians would like to ban Muslim immigrants.

However, in an address to the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Morrison acknowledged that there is a genuine anxiety such a move would be dangerous. He explained that Australia cannot afford to take such approach.

‘Foreign investment, trade and an immigration program that is focused on bringing people to Australia who make a contribution rather than take one, creates jobs, boosts wages, drives growth, increases our living standards and always has,’ he told the audience.

He pointed out that Australia’s immigration programme is set apart from that of other countries in that is it economically focussed, attracting people and families wanting and able to make a contribution.

‘Seeking the reinforcing outcomes of economic contribution and social cohesion provides the foundation for community confidence in our immigration program, which is necessary for its ongoing support,’ he added.

Morrison also said that foreign investment it vital and there needs to be a balance between maintaining an attractive and welcoming environment for overseas capital and maintaining community confidence in the foreign investment regime.

‘As I found with immigration, Australians must have confidence that there are clear rules that protect the national interest and that these rules are being enforced. That is why our Government has acted to strengthen the controls we place on foreign investment and is following through with improved enforcements to pursue those who break the rules,’ Morrison said.

‘In a world where many economies are contemplating pulling the drawbridge up on trade, it is in our national interest to stay the course and argue the case for continued trade liberalisation to keep markets open. We can’t afford not to trade,’ he added.

He pointed out that as a large, resource rich country with relatively high demand for capital, Australia has relied on foreign investment to meet the shortfall of domestic savings against domestic investment needs for over two centuries.

He said foreign capital has allowed the Australian people to enjoy higher rates of economic growth, employment and a higher standard of living than could have been achieved from domestic savings alone and the Australian economy has been built on successive waves of foreign investment, first from Britain, then the United States, Japan and now, increasingly from China.

‘Keeping the door of our economy open to investment, trade and immigration will also help us increase what we earn and boost our living standards. An immigration system geared towards attracting migrants with high rates of workforce engagement and employment in skilled areas increases the productive capacity of our economy, thereby benefiting all Australians,’ he concluded.

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