The population issue is not about asylum seekers or refugees.
- Asylum seekers arriving by boat (recent annual average around 10,000 p/a) make up less than 3 per cent of Australia's annual population growth of around 350,000 people
- Stable Population Party supports an annual total refugee intake of 14,000 - the highest per capita resettlement in the world
- Stable Population Party wants an end to dangerous boat journeys and would support the onshore or offshore processing regime of either major party if elected, as long as the Department of Immigration experts give approval
- We should acknowledge that overpopulation drives the resource scarcity behind most current conflicts and forced migration – overpopulation drives boats
- Stable Population Party's main goal is to assist people around the world to live sustainably and peacefully in their homeland - through foreign aid focused on female rights and education, and reproductive health and voluntary family planning services
- Our primary and overwhelming moral responsibility to pass on a sustainable Australia to our children and grandchildren
The issues of asylum seekers arriving by boat and population growth are not, and should not, be confused for political purposes. But unfortunately, certain politicians are cynically channelling peoples' concerns over large scale population growth and subsequent erosion of Australia's quality of life, and directing it at a relatively small group of people who arrive on boats.
In the last decade, an average of around 5,000-10,000 asylum seekers (seeking official refugee status) per year have arrived by boat. This makes up less than 3 per cent of Australia's recent annual population growth of around 350,000 people.
The population issue is not about boats. The population issue is really about an excess of permanent immigrants over permanent emigrants (around 200,000 per annum) combined with an excess of births over deaths (around 150,000 per annum).
The Stable Population Party supports a generous intake of around 14,000 refugees per annum. But this should be within a balanced migration program, where total permanent immigration equals total permanent emigration. In recent years total permanent emigration has been around 80,000 per annum.
The Stable Population Party supports a generous intake of around 14,000 genuine refugees per annum. This is the highest per capita resettlement program in the world, along with Canada. In 2012, under pressure from a recent spike in boat arrivals, Labor and The Greens agreed to increase the annual refugee intake to 20,000, then 27,000 within five years. The Stable Population Party does not support this band-aid policy. This was a (now-failed) political decision to try to slow boat arrivals and instead fly asylum seekers to Australia who might otherwise come by boat. It has only encouraged more.
In general, asylum seekers arriving by boat (seeking refugee status) do not increase Australia's rate of population growth in a material way. This is because asylum seekers that are deemed to be genuine refugees have been included within the total number of refugees we accept each year. The Stable Population Party expects a recent spike in boat arrivals to be relatively temporary. Asylum seekers and refugees therefore have little or no material impact on Australia's overall population growth.
Australia has a proud record of refugee resettlement, with over 700,000 refugees taken in since World War II. We can be compassionate and help resolve our population growth crisis with a balanced, flexible and sustainable migration program.
The Stable Population Party wants an end to dangerous boat journeys and would support the onshore or offshore processing regime of either major party if elected, as long as this is supported by experts in the Department of Immigration as an appropriate way to maintain a fair system.
The Stable Population Party would prefer to see all refugees arrive through an orderly United Nations system - and an end to dangerous boat journeys.
The global solution
We should acknowledge that overpopulation drives the resource scarcity behind most current conflicts and forced migration. By stabilising their populations through voluntary family planning and empowerment of women, nations protect their food security, improve infant and maternal health, maximise resilience to climate change, free up investment to build prosperity and avoid labour exploitation. All people should be able to live in peace and harmony in their homeland. Assisting people's main desire to live in peace and harmony in their homeland without the need for forced migration is the ultimate form of compassion - and the only sustainable solution.
Through partnership, example and assistance, Australia should help other nations to live well and plan their own future within their sustainable resource base. While welcoming our fair share of genuine refugees, we need to tackle the root cause of most refugee movements - overpopulation. Robust UN lobbying on population and carefully targeted foreign aid should aim to help stabilise population in other countries, and therefore global population.
Australia is not a nation with infinite resources. We should not be manipulated into using Australia as an overpopulation safety valve for the rest of the world – this has no real impact on global overpopulation. Our primary and overwhelming moral responsibility to pass on a sustainable Australia to our children and grandchildren.
Australia should move from a policy of resettling increasing numbers of refugees, to helping people live sustainably, and in peace and harmony in their homeland.
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