House debates

Wednesday, 3 July 2024

Questions without Notice


2:30 pm

Photo of Pat ConaghanPat Conaghan (Cowper, National Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Social Services) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. AMP's deputy chief economist, Diana Mousina, said:

The high pace of immigration is not compatible with the level of housing supply that we have in this country. We're just not building enough homes to keep up with our population growth.

Why won't the Prime Minister admit that his decision to let in a record 547,000 migrants last year has been a significant reason for his homegrown housing crisis?

2:31 pm

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the Member for Cowper for his question. He speaks about migration during the period in which we have been in office. I suggest he should join those who stand up in the coalition party room and question the leadership of this bloke because the Leader of the Opposition had this to say in 2022: 'We do need an increase in the migration numbers. It is clear the number needs to be higher.' He went on to say later in the year, just in case you think that was a one-off: 'In addition to a domestic workforce, of course, we need migration.' In his first budget reply the Leader of the Opposition boasted, 'I brought in record numbers of people.' That is what he had to say in his first budget reply.

What we have done is cut the numbers in half. That is just a fact. We know that Dr Martin Parkinson, who served under those opposite as the head of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, had this to say after his review: 'This is a 10-year rebuild. This is not something you do quickly because it is so badly broken. It was a deliberate decision to neglect the system.' Christine Nixon, who did an examination as well, said, 'I was surprised at the breath, the various areas where visas were used to exploit people or for people to exploit the system.' Of course, Dennis Richardson said lack of proper due diligence resulted in public money being handed to individuals and businesses suspected of seeking to circumvent US sanctions against Iran—money laundering, bribery, drugs and arms smuggling into Australia, and corruption.

Photo of Milton DickMilton Dick (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The Prime Minister will pause and I will hear from the member for Wannon on a point of order.

Photo of Dan TehanDan Tehan (Wannon, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) Share this | | Hansard source

My point of order is on relevance, Speaker. It is about the 547,000 visas that were—

Photo of Milton DickMilton Dick (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

There is no point of order. If you ask a question regarding immigration numbers and the impact that has on the housing crisis, which was the way the question was framed, with respect to the member, regarding direct relevance, if the Prime Minister is reading quotes not about immigration or not reading about the impacts, that would not be relevant. I am listening carefully. He is reading. He is contesting the figures that were in the question, which he is entitled to do under the standing orders. He just has to make sure his quotes and his references are regarding the topic, particularly on the numbers he was asked about. At this point he is doing that, so he is being directly relevant. He has one minute to go for the remainder of his answer and he has the call.

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

Thanks, Mr Speaker. What we have done is we have restored the immigration compliance function that was cut by the Leader of the Opposition by nearly 50 per cent. We have increased the temporary skilled migration income threshold up to $70,000. We have ended the pandemic event visa, something those opposite left in place. We have cracked down on rorts in international education. We've implemented a $160 million reform package. We've imposed no-further-stay conditions on visitor visas. We're ending migration system settings that drove temporary visa holders to stay long term and we're introducing limits on international student numbers. We're taking action—as opposed to the mess that we inherited from those opposite.

Opposition members interjecting

Photo of Milton DickMilton Dick (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

Order! I give the call to the honourable member for—

Opposition members interjecting

Order! I do not want any interjections during this question being asked. Anyone who does so will leave the chamber immediately. The member for Werriwa has the call.