This Future Forum tackles the question ‘Is immigration key to Australia’s future prosperity?’ Since British settlement in 1788, Australia has been a nation of immigrants. Recent statistics have shown that around half of all living Australians have at least one immigrant parent or an immigrant themselves. While our national history may be rich with immigrant stories, some project that by 2050, the rate of Australian births will no longer exceed the rate of Australian deaths, meaning that population growth in Australia will depend even more on immigration.
John Barron, co-host of ABC’s Planet America, will moderate the one-hour discussion between eight panelists. This panel includes ANU academics Professor Robert Costanza of Crawford School, Dr Juliet Pietsch of the College of Arts and Social Sciences, and Crawford Honorary Professorial Fellows Dr John Hewson AM and Mr Talal Yassine OAM. They are joined by high profile businessman Dick Smith, demographer Bernard Salt, former Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone and political philosopher Dr Tim Soutphommasane.
Some of the issues discussed include changing demographics and population growth, and economic implications to 2050; immigration’s contribution to the economy; and security, human rights and policy questions regarding refugees and asylum seekers.
Given the enormous scope of the issues and the number of views to be heard, including select audience questions, I found myself applauding this venture for providing an overview that was not nearly as superficial or as partisan as it might have been.
It began with this short presentation: