After a string of controversies, is this a triumphant return to politics for Mark Latham? Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP
After a string of controversies, is this a triumphant return to politics for Mark Latham? Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Mark Latham’s 8-point plan to cut state’s immigration

NSW'S immigration intake would be slashed by two-thirds to 35,000 a year with all newcomers subjected to "national­ interest" selection criteria to save Sydney "suffocating" from overpopulation and overdevelopment, One Nation NSW leader Mark Latham has said.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the NSW policy platform of the new state leader of Pauline Hanson's One Nation party, which targets population growth, planning and infrastructure as top issues impacting Sydney.

 

The eight-point plan includes a national interest measure­ for migrants and abolishing leading planning body the Greater Sydney Commission, headed by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull's wife, Lucy.

"Let's save Sydney from suffocating overpopulation and overdevelopment," Mr Latham (pictured) told the Telegraph.

The policy document, titled Saving Sydney, would involve cutting immigration numbers by roughly two-thirds - nationally­ this would be from 190,000 to 70,000 and for NSW it would be from 100,000 to 35,000 - and scrap the "special refugee" program, which placed 6000 refugees into Fairfield in 2015.

It comes after Premier Gladys Berejiklian last month called for a "breather" on migration­ in NSW, saying the numbers needed to halve from last year's intake of 100,000 net migrants.

Latham's 8-point plan

1. Our immigration program must be framed in the interest of the people who live here now. This is especially true of policies impacting on an over-crowded, increasingly dysfunctional city like Sydney.

2. Permanent immigration numbers should be slashed, bringing them closer to their 20th Century average of 70,000 per annum (down from 190,000 currently). Temporary visas must also be cut back.

3. NSW should not take any more special refugee intakes, given the mismanagement of Syrian refugee settlement by the Baird Government.

4. Sydney's planning laws must be overhauled to make the city more efficient and sustainable. An urban containment strategy is needed. For existing suburbs, One Nation supports development and density restrictions in under-serviced, over-crowded LGAs. The Government should publish a comprehensive report identifying these suburbs (most likely, most of the city).

5. The release of greenfields residential land also needs to be limited to prevent further urban sprawl. Priority should be given to the development of employment land in Sydney to reduce commuter-travelling times, especially in the city's outer suburbs.

6. The Greater Sydney Commission should be disbanded (at an annual cost saving of $18 million) as it has become a mouthpiece for Big Australia immigration and unlimited population growth in Sydney. Political appointments and unrealistic planning strategies have dominated the Commission's work.

7. The Greater Sydney Commission's excessive housing and population growth targets should also be abandoned. NSW Planning should be given the task of containing the city's growth to reasonable lifestyle, infrastructure and environmental limits. Local Councils, as the level of government closest to the people, also have a critical role to play in limiting densities and development in line with local infrastructure/service capacity. One Nation respects this vital local government urban planning role.

8. The State Government should scale back the responsibilities of the so-called Western Sydney Aerotropolis to focus on employment creation in the immediate vicinity of the new Badgerys Creek Airport, rather than land acquisition and development for residential purposes. In the fair treatment of existing property rights, affected landowners should be bought out at enhanced (rezoned) land values, rather than current unimproved rates.



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