Australian Attitudes to Immigration: Coming Apart or Common Ground?

Jeremy Sammut, Monica Wilkie
18 November 2018 | PP11
Australian Attitudes to Immigration: Coming Apart or Common Ground?

Immigration has been a contentious political issue in Australia and overseas for a number of years. Many political parties and figures have emerged promising to severely restrict or halt immigration. Australia has largely avoided significant political disruptions over this issue. However, as immigration levels continue to remain high, politicians and policy makers must ensure they address issues of concern for the electorate.

Our immigration polling results showed that across the socioeconomic spectrum there are more similarities than differences in attitudes towards immigration. Respondents overwhelmingly supported a cut in immigration until key infrastructure has caught up. There is also strong support for migrants demonstrating a minimum standard of English and learning about Australian values. There is a difference in the depths of feeling towards immigration based on where respondents live. That is, those in the lowest decile postcodes were more likely to support an immigration cut. This suggests that politicians should address concerns around congestion and integration or risk societal breakdown over immigration.

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