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Multicultural Australia calls on all political leaders to engage in responsible and thoughtful discussions on migration to ensure the focus is firmly set on long-term population planning for a prosperous and inclusive future for everyone. 

“We know what the issues are – the housing crisis, healthcare, education, infrastructure, access to community services and cost of living. This is an important conversation that we must have as a broader Australian community without resorting to simply blaming migrants. What we heard so far is an over-simplistic response to a very nuanced and complex set of issues. 

A strong, diverse economy and population is critical to Queensland and Australia – to address local skills shortages, an ageing population and to boost our growth. 

“The debate we are having is really about housing, infrastructure and the services that government should be providing to support Australians who need it. These issues are complex and need to be solved by looking at all the reasons why we have a housing shortage and what is getting in the way of delivering the housing supply we need. The Australian Government has already announced significant cuts to our migration numbers, and further reductions will not solve the problem. We also need to remember that migration in Australia includes both domestic and international migration. 

Ms Castley called on leaders from across the political spectrum to responsibly and authentically engage in the discussion of migration. 

The current conversation is a distraction from tackling the real issues and does not address the role of migration as an important part of our longer-term well-being and security. It does not provide Australians with the right information to understand the real issues underpinning our housing and infrastructure challenges and it is potentially a dangerous conversation because it risks impacting our social cohesion by locating migrants in opposition to locals and crucially, it ignores the risks to our economy from turning away the same skilled prospective migrants we would seek to invite to Australia, to help our economic and productivity growth.  

“The comments that have come from politicians representing different political parties and ideologies highlight the need for us to grow-up as a country. 

“This is a plea for our leaders to focus on what the best population outcomes are for us as a country and what a sustainable, strategic, and responsible migration program could look like if it is part of a broader population planning strategy. 

“Let’s have a robust and evidence-based discussion that highlights the real issues and looks at practical solutions without political point scoring.” 

Ms Castley emphasised the need for the conversation to be handled with care.  

“We need to ensure that this does not become a divisive and racist conversation. 

“Australia is widely regarded as one of the most successful multicultural nations in the world, and it is important that as we have a complex conversation about the future of migration, that we also remember and celebrate our success story of multiculturalism – economically, socially, and culturally. 

“Australians who come from different cultural, faith and national backgrounds cannot be made to feel that they do not belong. 

“Accurate information must be presented to our communities, and a diversity of voices from across the broader community must be given the opportunity to contribute to the conversation. 

“It is our collective responsibility to create an Australia that we can all be proud of.” 

For Media enquiries, please contact:
Stanton Dunn
Communications, Marketing and Events Manager, Multicultural Australia
0493 291 699