Half of Australians want end to immigration: poll
AFP News – Tue, May 22, 2012
Some 50 percent of Australians want an end to the nation's immigration programme because they believe the country has too many people, a poll showed on Tuesday.
The survey of 2,000 people, conducted for the tabloid Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper, found 51 percent thought "our population is too high (and) we should stop immigration".
Australia has some 23 million people, compared to 19.6 million a decade ago.
Canberra set its immigration programme for the year to June at 185,000 places, with another 13,750 slots available to refugees on humanitarian grounds.
But in the poll only 32 percent of respondents felt Australia should welcome more immigrants and almost two thirds, some 65 percent, said "migrants should adopt the Australian way of life".
The responses revealed a marked swing away from the more tolerant attitudes of previous surveys conducted in 2005, 2001 and 1995, the newspaper said.
Immigration expert Bob Birrell said fears over job security in the shaky global economy and local pressures on infrastructure were behind the shift in opinion.
Australia has been hugely prosperous recently because of the natural resources boom. But it doesn't have much water.