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IQ2 Debate: Immigration

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Sydney Town Hall

483 George Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

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Can the current rate of immigration be sustained?

When Germany opened its borders to refugees during the Syrian war, Angela Merkel was saluted by progressives for her humane policy. “We can do this,” she declared. But her decision had unintended effects. The European migrant crisis ensued.

Thousands drowned crossing the Mediterranean, including three year old Alan Kurdi whose body was found washed ashore. Poor countries with populations as small as two million were overwhelmed – not for lack of sympathy but rather inadequate resources to handle the sheer weight of numbers moving through in search of a safer, better life in northern Europe.

In response, dark forces were mobilised, their aim being to convert compassion into distrust for their own political ends. Nationalist leaders were voted in across Europe. Britain continues to struggle with Brexit.

While those forces have had significant successes in Europe, the same is not so here. Australians overwhelmingly support immigration and reject monolithic values. 82 percent of us agree “immigrants improve Australian society by bringing new ideas and cultures”. Another 80 percent feel immigrants are good for the economy. Big business and economists argue economic growth will stall to everyone’s detriment if immigration levels are cut.

But just as many Australians who support immigration are concerned about its practical effects at a time of growing uncertainty. People worry about the impact of unfettered population growth on our cities, housing prices, public transport, hospitals and schools.

Regional Australia is feeling the pressure too. We need only look to the mass fish deaths in Darling River to see growing numbers are taking a toll on the fragile natural environment of our island home. As an Australian National University study says, “As the world’s driest inhabited continent with unique flora and fauna, Australia’s environment may not be able to cope with rapid population growth”.

The result is that Australians are ‘pro-immigrant’ yet ‘anti-immigration’.

This leads us to ask, should immigration be boosted, maintained or curbed?

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The Ethics Centre team sends love and sympathy across the ditch to our Kiwi cousins - especially the people of Christchurch. This IQ2 debate was scheduled many months ago to address an election issue concerning Australians. We ask IQ2 audiences to join us in extending respect to the victims, their families, and friends.

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2019 DEBATES:

26 March | Immigraton
12 June | Stop Idolising Youth
27 August | Democracy (motion for debate coming soon)
23 October | Masculinity (motion for debate coming soon)

For a limited time, save big with an IQ2 subscription package to all four debates – 36% off for general admission and 75% off for students.

Give the gift of a good argument! Gift certificates available by emailing us directly.

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SPEAKING FOR THE MOTION

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Dr Jonathan Sobels is an environmental scientist. He was commissioned by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to research the impacts of population growth on Australia’s natural environment. Jonathan concluded core resources like water cannot sustain high immigration so too much growth is irresponsible. You can follow him on LinkedIn here.

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Satyajeet Marar is a writer who contributes to publications like the Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Quillette, and The Spectator. The Indian-born immigrant is the director of policy at the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance. Satyajeet supports multiculturalism and argues harmony is maintained when there are limits to immigration. You can follow him on Twitter via @MisterJEET


SPEAKING AGAINST THE MOTION

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Dr Anne Aly was a Professor at Edith Cowan University. Anne is an internationally renowned expert in counter-terrorism and de-radicalisation. She is now serving as the Member for Cowan for the Australian Labor Party in Western Australia. You can follow her on Instagram via @Anne.Aly


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Prof Nicole Gurran is an urban planner and housing policy expert based at the University of Sydney’s School of Architecture, Design and Planning. She presented her solutions to population growth and Australia’s housing crisis at TEDxSydney. Nicole says smarter spatial planning can accommodate high immigration levels. You can follow her on Twitter via @Planosopher


Thank-you to our Media Partner - The New Daily

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Date and Time

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Sydney Town Hall

483 George Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

View Map

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