There’s an anger in Western Sydney that could cost us the next election – “our schools, trains, roads, hospitals are full of refugees”.
We allowed and encouraged this anger to focus on how refugees can be stopped, a good Liberal issue. We ignored and continue to ignore the underlying issue of our schools, trains, roads, hospitals being full. We allowed a single Liberal issue to displace a suite of good Labor issues.
In 2010-11, a total of 4828 Humanitarian Program visas were given to onshore applicants, not all maritime arrivals. That number is from a total of 13,799 visas granted under the Humanitarian Program, itself a number out of a total of 158,943 new immigrants. Putting that number in wider perspective, new immigrants were part of a total population growth for 2012 of 394,200 people. Australia’s population is 22.32 million. Boat people are about 1-2 per cent of annual population…
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