Senate debates

Monday, 11 September 2023

Matters of Public Importance


5:24 pm

Photo of Gerard RennickGerard Rennick (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I'm very pleased to speak on this matter of public importance. I think it really gets to the heart and the crux of everything that's wrong with the Labor Party—Australia has moved into a per capita recession caused by net zero policies, and is now resorting to an immigration and student 'Ponzi scheme' to try to cover the damage. It isn't working. But the damage it causes to the little guy, the battlers—and the people who benefit from this are at the big and of town, particularly the corporations in Australia, who have more customers and therefore more revenue, and our universities, which are a breeding ground for the Marxists who end up joining the Labor Party and the Greens. That is why the Labor Party continues on this reckless policy of having high immigration, mostly by students.

I'm not against immigration. Indeed, it was former prime minister Ben Chifley, who after the war used immigration to build the Snowy Mountains hydro scheme. That provided lots of energy and water for irrigation down in some of the very fertile food basins of northern Victoria and southern New South Wales. That's good immigration because it increases the supply of goods and services. But the problem with student immigrants is that they don't go out and work in productive industries where they are building dams, building infrastructure, increasing the supply of water or increasing the supply of electricity. No, they're sitting around, as all students do—and I was a student once and, yes, I wasted a lot of time drinking beer and all that, even though I did go and get a job while I was a student—but this is not productive labour. Therefore, all the students do is increase demand and they do not increase supply.

What we see here in this increase in demand is increasing interest rates and increasing price of rent—and that's if you can get a place to rent, because we also have a housing shortage. And it's not just housing that you're putting demand on here—you're also putting it on all our essential services. We need more roads, we need more infrastructure, we need more hospitals, we need more schools and so on and so on. But Labor sold out the little end of town because they know that they are really in bed with big business. We saw that last week with Qantas, with how the Prime Minister is good mates with Alan Joyce—Mr 'Give me $10 million even though I've driven Qantas into the ground' Joyce. And they're in bed with the universities. As we know, under section 51 of the 1997 income tax act, universities don't have to pay tax on foreign students. The reason the Labor Party doesn't want to bring in a tax on universities is that universities are in their back pocket. In the same way they use superannuation funds to steal hard-earned wages from the workers, they use universities to brainwash our children. So by the time our children have started work, they are not only broke from the HECS debt brought in by Paul Keating in the late 1980s but they're also brainwashed.

The real tragedy in all this rapid immigration is our environment. Yet again, here is another act of hypocrisy from the Labor Party, who pretend to care about the environment. At the same time they're bringing in renewables, which are driving up energy prices, there are horrendous housing developments on the edge of the cities, putting housing lots on top of each other and destroying some of our most productive agricultural land. In the inner city areas we are getting these ugly high-rises. It's destroying the Australian way of life, and this is a real problem.

The Labor government have been in power now for almost 18 months, and they have not got any answers. All they have done is pour fuel on the fire of the issues that were raised many times before. We need much more productive immigration if we're going to have immigration. I'm not against immigration but it's got to be productive. What the Labor Party is doing is running a rate of immigration that is way too high. They think it's a short-term solution to say, 'We're growing GDP,' but the reality is the GDP per capita is actually decreasing. All I can say is that the Prime Minister is a one-trick pony who for the last 18 months has pushed the Voice. He is going to find out very soon that the people are going to realise that is all he can do.


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