The Menace of Multiculturalism - section ten
Yet another reality of multiculturalism has been cited by Stephen Rimmer, that of the eventual Asianisation of Australia: "Multiculturalism serves as a cloak for the undeclared policy of Asianisation which involves linking Australia economically, ethnically and culturally with the nations of North-East Asia. As part of Asianisation, Australia's non-discriminatory immigration policy has been abandoned. Migrants and refugees are now selected on the basis of ethnicity ... Resources are spread unevenly and migration applications from North-East Asia are dealt with more quickly than applications from Europe."(63)
Following Rimmer's arguments, it is all too easy to see a definite bias towards Asia from politicians, government officials, and various people in prominent public positions (especially in the business sector). Many of these people, such as Bob Hawke (then Prime Minister), have told us (contrary to geographical realities) that "Australia is a part of Asia"; as well as asserting, like Al Grassby, "that Australia's destiny lies in Asia and the Pacific".(64)
In 1983, Bill Hayden (then the ALP's Foreign Minister) gave a remarkable speech alluding to Australia's future:
"Australia is changing. We're an anomaly as a European country in this part of the world. There's already a large and growing Asian population in Australia and it is inevitable in my view that Australia will become a Eurasian country ... I happen to think that's desirable. That means we are becoming part of the mainstream of this region".
He also said:
"[we] should welcome the process of gradually becoming a Eurasian-type society ... we will not just become a multicultural society - which seems to me to be a soft sort of terminology anyway - we will become a Eurasian society and we will be the better for it".
Even though his views were widely reported, no politician or government official condemned his comments, leading many to believe that the government generally concurred with his views. Hayden further compounded his statements the following year, when he revealed his "vision" that Australia should have a population of 50 million, predicting an upsurge in migration from "the obvious Asian populations around us ... [and the] ... large Polynesian and Melanesian population in our near region".(65)
Several big-business executives have called for a large increase in Australia's population, as they perceive such a rise as beneficial to the economic prospects of large companies; for instance, Hugh Morgan (Chief Executive of Western Mining) has proposed a figure of "about half a million migrants annually". Also, many people have come to realise that there is a political side to Australia's immigration policies; indeed, Ralph L. Harry (then Director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs) has noted that immigration has been described as a "concrete way of developing relations between governments"; and Alan Renouf (former Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs) has said that "immigration can be a useful diplomatic tool" and has advocated "a larger flow of Asian peoples" on the basis that such an action "could cement materially Australia's ties with such countries".(66)
The Australian Population and Immigration Council has stated that "The Asian region has immense potential as a source of migrants for Australia". It would seem that it is Asia that both politicians and businessmen are looking towards to provide the "future" for Australia. Some observers have commented that it would seem that there is an implicit "trade-off" involved: in return for being enabled to economically enmesh Australia with the growing Asian economies, Australia will in turn demographically enmesh itself with Asia's populations. As one government Minister is reported to have said, "we are part of Asia and our economic development, our future is inextricably intertwined with Asia - tourism, trade and economic development".(67)
Australia's most respected demographic expert, Charles Price, has already published his projections: "the year 2020 would see some 2.7 million persons of unmixed Asian origin and about 3.9 million persons of part Asian ancestry; a Total Descent figure of 6.6 million persons of whole or part Asian origin; that is, 26.7% of the total Australian population". Phillip Ruthven, Director of Ibis Business Information, has forecast a "neo-Eurasian nation" by 2010, turning "Eurasian" by mid-century, and becoming "Asian" at the end of the next century (only three to four generations away).(68)
It would appear that our cultural future may be determined by the levels of Asian immigration we are likely to receive over the next few generations; that Australia may well end up with an "Asian Future", which ironically may preclude the "Truly Multicultural Future" envisioned by some.
The Menace of Multiculturalism
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