Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Concerns about immigration should not be ignored

By Graham Young - posted Thursday, 15 October 2015

A change of leadership in the Liberal Party has convinced some erstwhile supporters that now is the time to form new parties on the right of Australian politics.

At least one of these is based around an organisation called the Q Forum, which has concerns about Islamic immigration.

Will any of these groups achieve the prominence of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation?


I don’t know.

What I do know is that if you ignore the concerns of a large part of the community, or dismiss these concerns as illegitimate, then you get the sort of political forest fires that we saw with Pauline Hanson.

In that case a new party went from a standing start in 1997 to 22.68% of the Queensland vote and 11 seats one year later in 1998.

What I also know, based on a qualitative survey of 1,349 Australians we conducted, and the study we have just released, is that if parties are based around concern about Islamic immigration, then a significant segment of the community is likely to welcome them.

I also know that while this concern is strongest on the right with 75% of our Liberal, and 69% of our non-Greens minor party respondents saying Islamic immigration is bad for Australia, on the left 22% of ALP and 18% of Greens respondents thought the same. 

Even more startling, only 8% of all respondents thought Islamic immigration has been for the good.


But not only is this an issue for a prime minister seeking to be inclusive, it is even more an issue for the community itself, or more properly the communities themselves.

There are the recently arrived migrant communities, and those communities who have been here centuries, and then there are overlapping communities based not on ethnic origin, but shared beliefs.

The research identifies different belief groups with significantly different attitudes on immigration, even when they use the same words.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All

This article was first published in The Australian.

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

64 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Graham Young is chief editor and the publisher of On Line Opinion. He is executive director of the Australian Institute for Progress, an Australian think tank based in Brisbane, and the publisher of On Line Opinion.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Graham Young
Related Links
Australian Attitudes to Immigration

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Graham Young
Article Tools
Comment 64 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy