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Population

Growth 47: Immigration and multiculturalism

Australia can and should pursue immigration as a crucial source of economic advantage and cultural stimulus.

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Report highlights

For the immediate future Australian immigration will be increasingly middle-class, English-speaking and readily employable. Exceptions will be from the humanitarian program, from Pacific Islanders transiting through New Zealand and from some immediate relatives of those already settled. But the numbers will be small and resulting social problems controllable through settlement services, welfare provision and a higher level of employment than at present.

Those who object on racial grounds to a varied intake will continue to complain, as they do elsewhere. Those who believe that Australia is "full up" will continue to press for zero net migration. But these approaches are not in Australia's interest. Nor does the likely impact of international movements on Australia justify them.

At an economic level, Australia has a choice. We can be a small economy or a big economy. We can have a large growing domestic base for our global integration or we can hold back and fall steadily behind.

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