Australia’s government scheme on asylum seekers was covered again in this week’s Sunday Times. While The Straits Times covers this scheme under a seeming Samaritan-like angle, I would challenge that this scheme masks and actually serves another purpose. Let me show you why. According to The Australian’s 2011 article titled Birth rate static for second year running, Australia’s birth rate has been unchanged since 2009 and by maintaining this lower fertility rate (1.89 babies per woman), Australia is still short of the replacement level (2.1 babies per woman of reproductive age) and must rely on migration to increase its population. Not a problem now, but definitely one in the future. Relate this to Singapore’s Foreign Talent policy and this sounds a little familiar, no?
Personally, credit is given, and rightly so, to the hosting families who actively take part in this scheme and are open to the idea of welcoming asylum seekers into their countries and placed in their homes (after spending three to six months in detention centres), regardless of the monetary benefits. However, I still think that this programme is more than just about bridging these people into the Australian community and culture, but rather, it has got to do with increasing the birth rate and population of Australia.
Read the articles here:
Birth rate static for second year running
Aussies open their homes to asylum seekers
The Sunday Times – June 24, 2012