Immigration and border protection policy are among the most contested issues in the Australian political debate. Concerns about the rate of immigration to Australia softened somewhat in 2019. After a sharp spike in 2018, fewer than half of Australians (47%, down seven points) in 2019 said that the total number of migrants coming to Australia each year was ‘too high’. However, this level remains ten points higher than in 2014. When considering the pros and cons of immigration more generally, a majority of Australians remain positive, but the balance of attitudes appears to be shifting. In 2019, 67% agreed that ‘overall, immigration has a positive impact on the economy’, 65% said that ‘immigrants strengthen the country because of their hard work and talents’, and 62% agreed that ‘accepting immigrants from many different countries makes Australia stronger’. However, each of these results were lower than in 2016 (six points, seven points and ten points, respectively).
The pressure on cities and infrastructure may have driven this shift in attitudes in 2019, with almost three-quarters (71%) of Australians saying that ‘Australian cities are already too crowded’. However, a majority of Australians (59%) rejected the idea that ‘immigrants take away jobs from other Australians’, although fewer disagreed than in 2016. The population was divided on the question of whether ‘immigrants are a burden on our social welfare system’ (48% agreeing, 50% disagreeing).
21 questions match this theme
Below is a list of possible threats to the vital interest of Australia in the next ten years. Do you see this as a critical threat, an important but not critical threat, or not an important threat at all?
When there are shortages of workers in Australia and companies in Australia cannot find enough skilled workers, are you personally in favour or against the government allowing in extra workers from foreign countries to come to Australia and fill those positions on short-term visas?
Temporary migrant worker schemes bring in foreigners to do seasonal unskilled work for limited periods. Thinking about Australia, please say whether you strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree with each of the following statements.