One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts wants migration more than halved
One Nation’s lead Senate candidate Malcolm Roberts believes Australia’s migrant intake should be radically slashed to just 70,000 per year.
The current migration program’s target figure was technically 190,000, although there were only 162,000 permanent visas approved in the 12 months ended June 30.
“I have done the research in detail but that’s what we’re going with, but I’m not making this a party issue and there are others who say – around 70,000, which is a zero net,” he told the LibertyFest conference in Brisbane on Saturday.
Tasked with debating “Immigration, how to draw the line”, Mr Roberts said he wanted immigration, not “colonisation”.
Mr Roberts – who was born in India to a Welsh father and Australian mother – said he was “not an immigrant”.
He then immediately followed that statement with: “Although I am an immigrant because the Australian citizenship standards have changed so much in the last 140 years.”
“So I share with you [the other speaker on stage, Satya Marar] some immigrant status in that I was born overseas but my mother was Australian, but I had to become an Australian at the age of 19, so it’s somewhat confusing,” Mr Roberts said.
Last year, the High Court found Mr Roberts was a citizen of the United Kingdom by descent at the time of his nomination.
He was forced out of Parliament due to section 44 of the constitution which effectively excludes dual citizens from being federal politicians.
Mr Roberts said the government should be “fixed” before anything else.
“Don’t fiddle with immigration until that’s fixed, fix up government, get back to our constitution and then start wondering about some of the other issues because the key to western civilisation, the key to society is freedom, and the key to our society is at stake right now,” he said.
However, Mr Roberts said immigration was about “who we sit down next to on the train, who we can sit down next to on an aeroplane”.
“We have to decide who comes in here, that’s our government, we use values-based immigration, so it’s not about just economics, because the hip pocket is appealed to by many governments,” he said.
In her maiden 1996 speech, One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson argued most Australians wanted the country’s immigration policy to be radically reviewed as the nation was in danger of being “swamped by Asians”.
She updated her rhetoric to “swamped by Muslims” during her first speech in 2016.
Mr Roberts also said taxation had become a monster which was destroying Australia.
“It is the most destructive system in this country,” he said.
Mr Roberts will vie to return to the Senate at the next federal election.
The two-day LibertyFest conference hosted an eclectic group of speakers and attendees, including LNP senators, a sex therapist, Queensland’s chief entrepreneur, free speech advocates and members of right-wing think tanks.