Politics and the population question during the pandemic

Drawing on the July 2021 TAPRI survey
Immigration Population growth Public opinion Australia

There is a huge gulf between Australia’s elite and Australia’s electorate on immigration policies – a gulf which has hardened since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. The Coalition government, as well as leading business and employer groups, have declared that they wish to see Australia’s immigration intake restored to around net 240,000 a year when Australia’s borders are opened. This is the 'Big Australia' target.

TAPRI’s survey found that, in late July 2021, only 19 per cent of voters agreed with this target. The rest supported lower levels, including 28 per cent who wanted the inflow and outflow of people from Australia to be the same. That is, they wanted nil net migration. This outcome is despite 18 months of advocacy since the pandemic began on the part of the government and business interests for a revival of 'Big Australia'.

The report sets out the data and then goes on to analyse the implications for the 2022 federal election.

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