Immigration support plummets in Victoria, survey finds
There is a lot of crime from African refugees in Melbourne
SUPPORT for immigration has plummeted in Victoria, a survey shows. With the nation marking Harmony Day today, the Monash University study has revealed that 52 per cent of Victorians believe the migrant intake is too high.
This compared with only 30 per cent in 2007, according to the Mapping Social Cohesion 2010 survey.
Rampant population growth was a major federal election issue last year, and state Opposition leader Daniel Andrews admitted last week that the Brumby Government's mishandling of it was a key reason for Labor's state election loss.
More than half of all Victorians rated the Federal Government's record in providing roads, rail and housing needed for future growth as poor or very poor, the survey found. Just under a quarter thought it had a good or very good record while a similar percentage believed it was neither good nor poor.
The national survey, conducted in June last year, revealed that 47.3 per cent of Australians agreed immigration was too high, compared with 36.3 per cent three years earlier. But it also found that 64 per cent of Victorians agreed with the statement that “accepting migrants from many different countries makes Australia stronger". This was down from 70 per cent in 2007.
Report author Prof Andrew Markus, from Monash's Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, said there was surprising support for immigration given the extent of public debate over the issue last year. “On past record, the level of negative sentiment may well have reached the range 55-60 per cent," he said.
The survey also found that a small majority of Australians, 53 per cent, thought it was important that Christianity stay as the main religion. About 40 per cent believed it was unimportant while 7 per cent said it was neither important or unimportant.
The survey was sponsored by the Scanlon Foundation, a charitable organisation created by Melbourne businessman Peter Scanlon to promote “a larger cohesive Australian society".