"There is one announcement in the budget which I cannot in all good conscience overlook and with which I strongly disagree. The government has increased the permanent migrant worker program from 125,000 to over 129,000. This is heading in absolutely the wrong direction. We should be cutting the number of migrant workers, returning it to the level it was in the mid-1990s —around 25,000.
Australia's population is now rising by a million every three years. It used to grow by only 200,000 a year. The increase has not been driven by natural increase, refugees or family reunions. It has been driven by an increase in skilled migration from 24,000 in 1996 to over 100,000 now. (Kelvin Thomson - Member for Wills electorate, Victoria, Australia)