//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

Former Prime Minister praises contributions of immigrants to Australia


Kevin Rudd

Kevin Rudd

As Julia Gillard talks tough on foreign workers, Kevin Rudd has praised the contribution of successive generations of migrants to building the nation.

Speaking to an infrastructure conference in Melbourne today, Mr Rudd said Australia would not have become the world’s 12th largest economy if not for the contribution of migrants.

“Our natural birth rate has long been offset by our long-term orderly migration program,” he said.

“Successive generations of migrants from all corners of the world have made Australia much stronger and richer than we would otherwise have been.

“It is worth pondering for a moment where Australia would be today, in terms of both our living standards at home, and our standing in the world, had we simply shut the door after World War II, and had Arthur Calwell not initiated the post-war immigration boom that transformed the face of modern Australia.”

The Prime Minister today defended her promised crackdown on 457 category visas, saying she was interested in protecting Australian jobs and rejecting claims her message was damaging national harmony or the economy.

“I believe we should only be looking for temporary workers from overseas if there are skills shortages that we cannot fill any other way,” Ms Gillard said at a jobs expo in Sydney.

“Mr Abbott believes that temporary workers from overseas should be a mainstay of our migration program. I just don’t think that’s right.”

Asked to produce evidence of alleged rorts involving 457 visas, Ms Gillard said security jobs had wrongly been described by employers as “highly skilled”, and some foreign workers were brought over to do different jobs than the ones they ended up doing. “To the extent that there are any problems, I want to get them out of the system,” she said.

Ms Gillard fought the last election on an anti-immigration “sustainable Australia” platform.

The policy was in part a reaction to Mr Rudd’s embrace of the idea of a “Big Australia”, in which a strong immigration intake would fuel economic activity.

Ms Gillard today said Australia continued to accept migrants who made it permanently their home, raised their families, got jobs and became Australian citizens.

“I’m a migrant. We’ve built a great multicultural society together,” she said of the post-war migration program which brought her own family from Wales in the 1960s.

“It’s been good for our economy, it’s been good for our society.”

The Prime Minister said the Howard government had not invested enough in skills and training and cited her experience of meeting overseas-trained doctors and nurses in hospitals.

“We need their skills,” she said. “When Mr Abbott was minister for health we did not train enough doctors and nurses.”

Earlier Ms Gillard announced a $1.5 million program to support the development of innovation in western Sydney, where unemployment is at 7.1 per cent, well above the national average.

In this way, she argued local research and development would lead to jobs closer to home, thereby reducing the time workers spent in their vehicles.

Reducing traffic congestion and improving road infrastructure have been major themes for the Prime Minister this week during an extended visit to western Sydney, where Labor is in serious danger of losing several seats at September’s election.

Source: The Australian – “Kevin Rudd lauds migration amid ongoing row over 457 visas”
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

5 thoughts on “Former Prime Minister praises contributions of immigrants to Australia

  1. You’ve got to hand it to Rudd: he can spot an issue and use it to advantage (well,some of the time!). His point about the imnmigramt contribution to our nation is utterly valid and the demonising that is going on currently is a really bad genie to let out of the bottle. It plays to all the worst instincts of those in society who feel in any way marginalised. The most unfortunate aspect of this is that while sensible people are attempting to praise our immigrants, Gillard reminds us she is one. Bummer!

    Posted by David M. Russell | March 8, 2013, 05:34

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Prime Minister, we need to talk about race | australian culture and customs - March 8, 2013

  2. Pingback: Australian Prime Minister’s attack on foreign workers is ‘damaging Asian strategy’ | Craig Hill - March 8, 2013

  3. Pingback: Australian Prime Minister harmed state election results for her own party | Craig Hill - March 10, 2013

  4. Pingback: Australia’s population could soar to 40 million by 2050 because of temporary entry migrants | Craig Hill - March 28, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 15,358 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

In a recent briefing, the US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines warned, “I would characterize it as the Russians aren’t winning, and the Ukrainians aren’t winning, and we’re at a bit of a stalemate here.” So, where is the Russia-Ukraine war heading? What is Russian President Putin planning next? Is Europe ready for […]

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

The Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are destabilizing international order in an effort to expand their global power, Adm. John Aquilino, commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, warned lawmakers during a House hearing on Tuesday. In his written testimony submitted to the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, Adm. Aquilino explained that the Department […]

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

We have noticed that the embrace with China had become suffocating in the last twenty years. The West universe of consumers and China the factory of the world. We started with modest and low value-added materials and products, to refine the trajectory and revolution to the most refined and complex technologies, such as 5G and […]

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

As President Biden welcomes leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to a special summit this week in Washington, D.C., his administration is affirming Beijing as the U.S.’s main rival and underscoring the region’s importance in U.S.-China competition. The two-day event is part of the U.S effort to woo ASEAN members caught in a […]

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

A strong international response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is critical to deterring China from embarking on territorial conquests in Taiwan or the South China Sea, said Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi. “China has been carefully observing the current situation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and they are paying particularly close attention to what […]

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

Finland is a unique country with a distinct language and culture. However, its possession was always contested between Sweden and Russia. Though Finland mainly remained under Swedish control in 1809, it was annexed by Russia. Using the end of World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution in late 1917, Finland declared its independence from the […]

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans to develop a system for monitoring asteroids that pose a threat to earth, highlighting the nation’s growing ambitions for its space program. The country will also explore ways for taking out asteroids that endanger the planet, Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration, said in a TV interview, according to […]

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Formally, Russia is not at war with Ukraine, where it claims to be conducting a so-called “special military operation.” But with Japan, given that Moscow and Tokyo never signed a peace treaty officially ending World War II, the two Asian neighbors remain technically at war. And after Japan recently described four Kuril islands whose ownership […]

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with China

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with  China

A tiny island chain in the South Pacific has Western governments scrambling after it agreed to a security pact with China that the United States and its allies fear could enhance Beijing’s military power in this strategically important region.  The deal between China and the Solomon Islands, a nation of 700,000 people that had deadly […]

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

Militaries all around the world are looking at integrating modern technology into their military weapons. China, as usual, appears to be making serious efforts to prepare for the future battleground, this time, with plans to include artificial intelligence and high-speed features in its future choppers. During a recent public lecture, a prominent Chinese military helicopter […]

%d bloggers like this: