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Published on December 20th, 2011 | by john.weir

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Skilled migration putting pressure on Australian families

Australia’s ongoing immigration programme is fanning negative feelings about asylum seekers and damaging national unity, according to an outspoken MP.

Outspoken Melbourne MP Kelvin Thomson said the tolerance of Australians had been stretched to breaking point by the quadrupling of skilled migration over the past 15 years.

”Immigration has generated competition for jobs and housing and put pressure on family living standards,” Mr Thomson said.”As a consequence the debate about asylum seekers is very divisive. It is doing nothing for our sense of national unity and respect for each other.”

Australia has always had a high intake of migrants; from 2005-10, Australia’s net migration was 11.1 people per 1000 population, compared with only 6.6 for Canada.The UK and the US each had a rate of 3.3, while New Zealand had 3.1 and South Africa 2.9.

Only Singapore, with a rate of 30.9, was higher than Australia, according to a Australian Bureau of Statistics report.

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Mr Thomson wants net annual migration slashed by 100,000 to 74,000, which he says would still mean one of the biggest per capita immigration programs in the world.

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