Scott Morrison economy speech liberal party
(Image: AAP/Darren England)

The charge that the Morrison government is playing up immigration reform to tap into xenophobia -- plainly a far more toxic allegation now than it was before last Friday -- is false. The collision of population, infrastructure, economic and property development policy that has caused such a mess in Sydney and Melbourne is real enough, whether the roads are full of "Asians with PhDs" as NSW Labor's Michael Daley claimed, or seventh-generation Australians. But there's a link between the issues that runs deeper.

As that raging leftie Judith Sloan pointed out today -- neatly shredding the glowing coverage elsewhere in The Australian -- the government's fiddling at the margins of permanent migration numbers will do virtually nothing to affect the net overall level of immigration, especially when it has created entirely new classes of visas to allow more workers to come in. "The Coalition government is completely captured by the big Australian lobbyists (think big business, industry associations, universities and some community groups)," Sloan warned, "and won’t do a thing to reduce population growth."