Daniel McCulloch, Australian Associated Press, February 15, 2018
Peter Dutton has signalled he is willing to swing an axe through Australia’s migration intake if it is considered in the nation’s best interests.
The coalition government has already cut the annual migration program to 190,000 places from more than 300,000 under Labor.
“If we have to bring it back further, if that’s what’s required and that’s what’s in our country’s best interests, that is what we will do,” the Home Affairs Minister told 2GB radio on Thursday.
New Liberal senator Jim Molan has used his first speech in parliament to warn Australia’s culture and infrastructure may not be able to handle any more legal migrants.
The retired major general, a co-author of Operation Sovereign Borders, said Australia was definitely approaching its migration limits if it had not already exceeded them.
Mr Dutton said some capital cities had struck the right balance with roads, rail and other public infrastructure to cope with population growth, but others had been a disaster.
He said while the government was willing to tighten migrant intakes, it was also focused on encouraging people out into the regions.
“We do have problems where people are concentrating in and around Sydney, in and around other capital cities including Melbourne, and we need to try and disperse people out,” Mr Dutton said.
“You’ve got some regions where the abattoirs just can’t work without that foreign workforce, or people coming in on a temporary basis, or migrants moving into that area.”