//
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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 14,817 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

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

US-China rivalry rooted in lost trust

US-China rivalry rooted in lost trust

As early as 2005 John Gersham and Melvin Goodman alerted against the trend of an over-militarized US foreign policy. The warning has been a recurrent theme of American debate, although it gained little traction. The debate recently spilled into mainstream media with The Economist averring that “an over-militarized foreign policy that embraces unrealistic objectives is liable to fail.” […]

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 20, 2021

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 20, 2021

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
Children account for 15 per cent of Australian farm deaths, says AgHealth study – 15 per cent of farm deaths are children under 14 years old, according to an AgHealth Australia study; A Ballarat farmer says she is shocked almost one in six … Australia’s first body image program for…

China in the News: July 20, 2021

China in the News: July 20, 2021

Ford unveils lower-priced Mustang Mach-E in China to qualify for subsidies – Previously, this was the only Mach-E priced low enough to qualify for China’s EV subsidies. It was joined by Extended Range RWD and AWD versions as well as the … NZ in ‘position of vulnerability’ over China hacking accusations – New Zealand has […]

Cadence Column: Asia, July 19, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, July 19, 2021

China faces a three-pronged attack in the realm of public opinion. The Olympics converge with COVID; the third is three levelings up in Chinese military aggression. COVID is seen in the public eye as having mainly originated from China. Even with conspiracy theories surrounding Fauci and Gates, no explanation lets China off the hook. That […]

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 19, 2021

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 19, 2021

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
Race on for Australian rare earth supplies as fears grow over China’s market ‘monopoly’ – It comes two years after David Gainer, the US Consul General to Perth, visited a rare earths mine near Laverton in outback Western Australia just days into the … Swim league to be launched in…

China in the News: July 19, 2021

China in the News: July 19, 2021

First human death due to monkey B virus reported in China – Patients of rare viral infections transmitted from the monkey have been reported in China and the U.S. in succession. According to China’s state-run Global … Commentary: A pity China can’t seem to ditch its wolf warrior diplomacy – Despite recent exhortations from President […]

The Nuclear Future of East Asia

The Nuclear Future of East Asia

In the face of North Korea and China’s continuous expansion and advancement in their nuclear arsenal in the past decade, the nuclear question for East Asian countries is now more urgent than ever—especially when U.S.’s credibility of extended deterrence has been shrinking since the post-cold war era. Whether to acquire independent nuclear deterrent has long […]

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 18, 2021

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 18, 2021

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
New study reveals history of Aboriginal trade with foreign visitors before British settlement – They are markers of an annual Asian occupation of the northernmost tip of Western Australia that remains a mystery. “This is an unknown part of Australian … Lolesio kicks 14-man Australia to win to seal series…

China in the News: July 18, 2021

China in the News: July 18, 2021

China threat: Australia detects two Chinese spy ships ahead of a major US missile launch on Sunday – AUSTRALIA has detected “unusual” spy activity from Beijing after a second high-tech Chinese military ship was spotted approaching the Queensland coast ahead … Chinese in S. Korean entertainment industry face backlash – Some Chinese K-pop stars deemed […]

China targets overthrow of global order as expert warns of ‘brutal authoritarianism’ rise

China targets overthrow of global order as expert warns of ‘brutal authoritarianism’ rise

CHINA has set out to overthrow the global liberal system in favour of a more compatible “authoritarian” order, a former CIA officer has stated. The Chinese leadership has set out to replace the international rules bases order, a former US intelligence analyst has warned.  Nicholas Eftimiades, an expert on China, has warned that Xi Jinping‘s regime believes […]

%d bloggers like this: