On the abolition of 457 visas

John Burke writes: Re. “The 457 ways to keep foreign workers while pandering to racists” (Wednesday)

Oh dear! Bernard just can’t help himself can he? Seems that anyone who questions our level of immigration is wallowing in ‘the deepening waters of xenophobia’. Phrases like that are designed to shut down any sensible debate about the level of immigration; if you want to talk about it you must be racist! The other inference one must draw is that if people like Hanson are racist then anyone who seeks a similar result for a non-racist reason is, ipso facto, also racist.

Australia has an absurd population growth rate which, given that our current level of fertility will lead to population decline, is totally driven by immigration. If we keep going the way we are then we shall have some 100 million people in another 100 years. As we have grown from the indigenous population to 25 Million over some 220 years we have wreaked havoc on our environment. Think the Murray-Darling degradation, dry land salinity, mammal extinctions, Koala habitat disappearing and much, much more. Imagine the harm we shall do as we hurtle towards 100 million, and then, thanks to exponential maths, 200 million 50 years after than and so on. This growth rate is being driven by greed from the rent-seekers, and misinformation from the politicians and others.

GDP growth is not necessary for per-capita wealth growth and many successful countries have negative or low growth: Japan, Russia, Germany and Denmark are examples. If we were to reduce immigration to about 70,000 p.a. there would be plenty of room for refugees and people with scarce skills. Such a level would allow us to eventually stabilise our population, reduce the harm we are doing to the environment, catch up with housing and infrastructure and most probably increase per capita wealth. Be nice to see an article from Bernard along those lines!

On Tony Abbott’s latest intervention

Jock Webb writes: Re. “Matthewson: what Abbott doesn’t say is what should worry Turnbull” (Tuesday)

I have been peddled untruths up close and personal by pedalling pollie Tony Abbott. Given that he is not exactly known for his core truths, why would anyone believe anything he says? However, my experience of pedalling Tony was that whatever he was doing, listening was not part of it. Displaying arrogance and ignorance certainly was. Will no one rid us of this lacklustre ex leader?

Peter Fray

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