Melbourne: Seeking support for immigration
and population growth policy Down Under, Australian opposition
party leader has expressed serious concerns over possibility
of Indians being victims of racially motivated crime.
"The last thing any Australian would want would be to
make recent immigrants feel unwelcome, and expressed concern
at the possibility Indians had become the victims of racially
motivated crime," Tony Abbot was quoted as saying in a report
in a newspaper.
"This would be worse than a law enforcement problem. It
would be an affront to our self-perception as a society where
people are judged on their merits rather than on their skin
colour," he said.
Conversely, the rise of ethnic gangs and perception of
ethnic street crime threaten the understanding that migration
should be overwhelmingly a net benefit to Australia.
He warned that the rise of ethnic gangs and perception of
ethnic street crime threaten public support for immigration.
The Opposition Leader, in a speech supporting population
growth, immigration, and a strong border-protection policy,
challenged ethnic leaders to show greater respect for
"It would help to bolster public support for immigration
and acceptance of social diversity if more minority leaders
were as ready to show to mainstream Australians values the
respect they demand for their own," he said.
For all the misguided and sometimes cruel treatment of
Aborigines, the ethnic typecasting and occasional snobbery
that still existed, Australia had rarely seen domestic
discrimination based on race or culture, Abbot said.
He said that despite the success of immigration, it
regularly featured on issues that concerned people.
He identified three reasons: unauthorised boat
arrivals had raised fears that Australian borders were again
uncontrolled; some recent immigrants seemed resistant to
Australian notions of equality; and concern about the natural
and built environment coping with the pressure.
"There is, I suspect, an anxiety that the great prize
of Australian citizenship is insufficiently appreciated and
given away too lightly," he said.
He admitted many continued to be dismayed by what they
saw as the harsh treatment of boat people, and that it was
"far from obvious how to strike a judicious balance."
But a strong border protection border policy was
perfectly consistent with a large and inclusive immigration
policy. In fact, its probably essential if the public is to be
convinced that Australia`s policy is run by the Government
rather than by people smugglers.
He said Australians made few demands of its
There is no ideal of Australian-ness to which they are
expected to conform. There is no expectation [they] will lose
their affection for their country of birth.