Date 15.10.2014 The leader of Australia’s opposition Labour party has told an Australian newspaper that he favours the idea of a ‘big Australia’ and views immigration as a key driver to any population increase. Speaking to The Australian, Bill Shorten labelled immigration “a great economic driver, and noted that there is a disproportionately high number of immigrants among entrepreneurs and top-rate tax­payers.

“I don’t favour that bumper sticker which says ‘Go away, we’re full’,” the Labour leader said. “I’m a fan of immigration and what it’s done for this country.”

Although Shorten would not put a number on how big he thinks the population be, or how many immigrants should be allowed into the country each year, he did say that a population increase was inevitable. “The number presents itself. We’re going to have a natural birthrate and we’re going to have immigration. We’re going to keep growing, probably faster than the average for the rest of the world.”

However, he also admitted that those who are against big population increases were right to have concerns over certain infrastructure issues.

“We’ve got to make sure that our road infrastructure and our rail infrastructure is right and we’ve got resources so people aren’t spending hours and hours in traffic every day,” he said.

Population projections released last year show that the Australian population could reach as high as 41.4 million by 2050. The latest population estimate suggests that 23.6 million people currently live in the country.

Article published 13th October 2014

Online Editor, Halo Financial

David Fuller