Australian government flags forcing new immigrants to live in designated zones
13 October 2018
The government of recently-installed Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week launched a concerted bid to blame immigrants, including refugees, for the soaring living costs and deteriorating basic infrastructure that confront millions of working class people.
The Liberal-National Coalition government is seeking to whip up a xenophobic and anti-immigrant social base. It is accusing migrants of causing “congestion” in Australia’s biggest metropolitan areas—Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane-Gold Coast.
The turn to scapegoating immigrants is another indication of the wholesale lurch to the right within the political establishment signalled by the late August backroom removal of Morrison’s predecessor Malcolm Turnbull.
Within weeks of taking office, Morrison told Fairfax Media last month that he wanted a “fair dinkum” conversation about population and tougher rules to slow the entry of migrants into “congested” cities. His comments echoed the calls issued by far-right and anti-immigrant outfits, such as Senator Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who triggered Turnbull’s ouster, is already boasting of having slashed the annual immigration intake from about 190,000 to 160,000.
On Tuesday, Population Minister Alan Tudge foreshadowed plans to force newly-arrived immigrants to live in designated parts of the country. “We are working on measures to have more new arrivals go the smaller states and regions and require them to be there for at least a few years,” he declared in a speech at the Menzies Research Centre, a Coalition thinktank.
Fearing widespread opposition in Australia’s increasingly internationalised working class,…