Over the last 20 years big business has been allowed to walk away from any responsibility it once had to train young Australians. The current business model for skills development is to invest nothing, and then insist that the cost of training be socialised.
When the shortcomings of this system become apparent the solution pushed is the importation of malleable, underpaid 457 workers from overseas. And make no mistake about it, 457 visa workers are paid less than locals.
The natural end game, of course, is a Gulf States-style permanent underclass of temporary, low-paid workers to put constant downward pressure on wages. It may seem like a long way off now, but who would seriously doubt that the likes of Gina ‘Special Economic Zones’ Rinehart would baulk at such a push?
Latest 2 of 172 commentsView all comments
A Coalition suggestion that migrants need deodorant classes is an outrageous, racist furphy. It’s an absolute myth that Poms are soapdodgers.
Opposition citizenship spokeswoman Teresa Gambaro has suggested new immigrants should be taught about wearing deodorant and waiting patiently in queues.
She wants employers to give mandatory “cultural awareness training” to immigrants arriving under visas such as the 457s.
Latest 2 of 211 commentsView all comments
A growing population is not the result of over-zealous politicians and bureaucrats or big business trying to expand their market.
It is a result of Australians being healthier, living longer, and having more children. It is because people from around the world want to come here to work, travel, live and study.
Population growth is neither an impending disaster nor something we should blindly strive for—it is simply happening as a result of our economic progress and the collective desires of millions of people.
Latest 2 of 124 commentsView all comments
Yesterday I wrote to Prime Minister Julia Gillard expressing concern about a report in The Economic Times, that Australia intends to ‘target’ Chandigarh, Punjab and other cities in northern India with a promotional campaign in 2012 looking to attract skilled migrants.
I told the Prime Minister I do not want the number of skilled migrants to increase, and do not support Australia running promotional campaigns to try to attract migrants.
I cannot see how running promotional campaigns to attract skilled migrants is consistent with the Prime Minister’s pre-election statements that she does not believe in a ‘Big Australia’ and that ‘we need to stop and take a breath’. I also think this pre-empts the Sustainable Population Strategy for Australia being developed by Population Minister Tony Burke.
Latest 2 of 123 commentsView all comments
It is easy to dismiss the growing backlash to population growth as a case of national NIMBYism, but the story could have more to do with the capacity of our major capital cities to deal with any extra people.
While there was lively debate over the idea of a new city in yesterday’s Punch the latest Essential Report shows the real issue is whether the government should tell new arrivals to go bush.
In what could be a real clue to the Federal Government in how to handle this difficult issue, most Australians actually support an increase in the population of major regional centres and smaller regional towns.
Latest 2 of 32 commentsView all comments
Welcome to sunny Big Australia, the land of opportunity, where you’re welcome to be one of 36 million of us by the year 2050 - as long as you’re prepared to live, oh, about 4,000 kms from the Opera House.
The Punch set out last week to find out just how tolerant Australians are of the idea of the kind of population growth being considered by the Federal Government, and more to the point, how it should be managed.
What we found on the streets of Sydney, the country’s most under pressure city, is a political nightmare for both sides of politics. While Sydneysiders are quite open minded about welcoming more Australians, 70 per cent said we’d need a whole new city to house them, and that city should be far, far away.
Latest 2 of 205 commentsView all comments
Today there will be thousands of Australians losing an hour of time with their kids for the privilege of sitting in traffic gridlock in our major cities. Somewhere else there will be an employer looking at a business, which could generate much more money if only a worker could be found.
The concept of Australia running at two speeds couldn’t be starker than it is with population. One group of Australians are flying at high speed to work at a mine while others may as well put the handbrake on.
Developing a sustainable population strategy means finding a way forward for both groups. So far a lot of the debate has dealt with national population figures and presumed all we need to do is arrive at a total number.
Latest 2 of 55 commentsView all comments
There are plenty of vast, empty spaces on this continent and many Australians The Punch spoke to last week would like to see them filled.
In a survey The Punch ran testing Australians’ thoughts on population growth, the majority of respondents were open to the idea of building a new major city somewhere on the continent to relieve population pressure on other cities.
They were resolute about its ideal location: anywhere but near Sydney and Melbourne. John, 20, from Cronulla agreed with many survey respondents that Australia’s next Canberra, if built, should go somewhere on the country’s Western coast: “It should be somewhere between Perth and Broome.”
Latest 2 of 34 commentsView all comments
Tony Abbott’s incendiary comments about immigration could ignite an Australia Day tinderbox.
Speaking last week at an Australia Day Council dinner, the federal opposition leader used language reminiscent of the darkest days of the Howard regime.
‘‘The inescapable minimum that we insist upon is obedience to the law,’’ he said.
Latest 2 of 158 commentsView all comments
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…