On the Origin of Distrust of Immigration In Austra

By Rodney Spencer
Volume 8, Number 2 (Winter 1997-1998)
Issue theme: "Australia's identity crisis"

Could it be that official immigration statistics bear no resemblance to the real immigrant numbers and consequently projections for the size and future ethnic composition of the Australian population are not accurate?

In England recently, the Head of the U.K. Immigration service from 1981-1989, Peter Tompkins, said, "For ten years I was head of the UK Immigration service. I have long known that the Home Office statistics bear no relation at all to the true facts on immigration."1 "The actual rate was more than twice the official one." He also said "It is vital to everyone to get the figures right" and "Phoney figures do no one favors."

The purpose of this paper is to show that similar circumstances of deliberate mis-information apply in Australia. All the "debate" on immigration and multiculturalism has been based on inaccurate and phoney figures and thus any conclusions drawn are wildly inaccurate and greatly underestimate all the effects of immigration as well as the consequences of altering the entire racial and ethnic composition of the Australian people.

Imagine the hypothetical situation where Australia receives 1 million migrants per year and 1 million Australians departed overseas permanently. Using current methods, this would be reported as zero net migration. Such a scenario would have little effect on population numbers but it would have a massive effect on the economy, environment and social structure of the country. Additionally, if the 1 million migrants were from a difficult to assimilate minority ethnic group who were poor, with low education and skills, little English, high unemployment levels and high fertility and were replacing wealthy, highly skilled and upwardly mobile Australians going overseas, then anyone can see the massive impact this would have. An unobjective media would probably only report that Australia had zero net migration and therefore feel no need to consider any economic, environmental or social consequences!

Mr. Randolph Alwis, President of the Federation of Ethnic Community Councils of Australia while debating on SBS radio on February 17, 1997 with Dr. Charles Price of the Australian Immigration Research Centre in Canberra and myself, disagreed on migrant numbers and ethnicity. Alwis said the net overseas migration (NOM) for the past year was 56,000, whereas Dr. Price and I said it was between 114,000 (the official Australian Bureau of Statistics Figure) and 133,000 (to include uncounted categories of illegals, some change of status, New Zealanders, etc.). Mr. Ruddock, Immigration Minister, in a press release on February 20, 1997, stated that net permanent migration was 70,469.

So here we have four figures describing Australia's immigration intake 56,000, 70,469, 114,000 and 133,000. Yet another figure, and probably the most accurate of all, can be calculated by counting all the people coming into and out of Australia, subtracting the departures from the arrivals and the result is the number of people staying in Australia per year. For 1995-6, these figures 2 are

arrivals 6,798,200

departures 6,687,500

intake 110,700

This includes 28,670 Australians leaving the country permanently and who notified the authorities accordingly, but also to this must be added the one or two percent of Australians who travel overseas on short term visas and do not return. For 1996, this was 55,000. In total therefore, 83,700 Australians left in 1996 and did not return. So, of the 6,798,200 arrivals, only 6,603,730 depar-ted. That is, 194,470 people stayed in Australia.

From this figure, corrections must be made to cover visitor lag from the increasing number of overseas visitors to Australia, correction for Australians returning after years away or after "permanent" departure. Against these figures we must set the converse lag in increasing overseas visits by Australians both short and long term. Some other minor categories do not affect numbers greatly. Dr. Charles Price considers all the above categories to account for approximately 34,500 people. My calculations from ABS figures is similar at 35,000. The complex calculations are available on request. The difference in figures related to a slight variation in statistics for the year ending December 31st to that ending June 30th, 1996.

Subtracting the corrections of 35,000 from the 194,470 people who entered Australia in 1996, leaves an intake of 159,470.

This is roughly three times the estimate of FECCA, more than double the government's figures as per Mr. Ruddock but in line with American experience of "Missing Airline Passengers"3 where over 1 million unaccounted-for arrivals stay per year.

Studies of a similar type have been done for Australia by Dr. Charles Price4 and have revealed about 47,700 uninvited overstayers per year for the years 1981-1991. Of these 477,000 people, what I call hopeful illegal immigrants, the government granted permanent residence to 125,000 over the 10 years leaving 350,000 floating around. How stupid does this make the Government estimate of illegals of 80,000 or more ridiculous still, the Department of Immigration, Ethnic and Multicultural Affairs estimate of 47,600 illegals. If figures for overstayers (illegal migrants) up to 1996 are used, one must conclude at least 500,000 illegal migrants are here in Australia, living, working, obtaining social security benefits, using our schools, hospitals and services.

Remember John Friedreichs, the head of the State Emergency Services in Victoria, who drove the organization into debt, destroyed it and who finally committed suicide? He was an illegal migrant by the name of Holstein, living with all the advantages of an Australian lifestyle - it's that easy. So if the numbers bear no resemblance to reality, what of the projected ethnic outcome for Australia? Mr. Alwis from FECCA said 50% of the migrants were Anglo Saxon - much to the chagrin of the demographer Charles Price who, even though pro-immigration, cares for accuracy as a pre-condition to sensible debate. Dr. Price has said that 75% of migrants come from non-English speaking backgrounds.5 Of the 25% from English speaking background, approximately one half return to their country of origin, therefore leaving approximately 10% of our population increase through immigration of Anglo Celtic ethnicity. That is, roughly 90% of our population increase through immigration are non-English speaking third world settlers.

Dr. Price has said the Anglo Celtic population will decline in Australia from 77% in 1978 to about 58% in 2040,6 and that Australia will be 27% Asian in 23 years7 - and these projections have been made on the official figures!

During 1996, 159,470 people, of whom only 10% were of western cultural origins, came in to Australia and stayed. It is time to honestly address what affect such immigration will have on our country, our identity, our population, our cities, our economy, our culture and our way of life. The Australian people no longer trust their government and its immigration policy. Australians have a right to know their destiny. TSC


1 UK Mail, Australian Edition, Monday, February 13, to Sunday, February 19, 1995, p. 6.

2 ABS Figures 3101.0, 1997.

3 "Missing Airline Passengers," by Lindsey Grant, The Social Contract, Vol. III, No. 4, Summer, 1993.

4 "Net Immigration and Population Growth," People and Place, Vol. 1, No. 3, 1993, Australian Forum for Population Studies, Monash, Melbourne.

5 Letter from Dr. Charles Price to Mr. Alwis; President FECCA, dated March 3, 1997.

6 Letters to the Editor from Dr. Charles Price, The Australian, March 29, 1997.

7 "Quarter-Asian Australia," by David Jenkins, Sydney Morning Herald, December 4, 1993.