Presently, Australia has a non-discriminatory immigration poiicy, which means that anyone from any country can apply to migrate, regardless of his or her ethnic origin, sex, color or religion. But such was not the case in the century prior to the demise of the infamous “White Australia” policy.
Australia placed the highest priority on population growth in 1945 and experienced the greatest proportional population increase in the following two decades. Immigrants from Europe dominated Australia’s intake. Non-European migration remained severely restricted. The “White Australia” policy was formally discarded in 1
973. So was the end of postwar immigration population building project. During the 1980s and 1990s, there were continuing adjustments to balance economic dimensions of migration with humanitarian considerations and the demands of ethnic communities.
Growth in family reunion migration and the launch of the business migration program in 1978 combined with Indo-Chinese refugees have been instrumental in producing rising levels of Asian migration in the post-”White Australia” era. With the increasing ‘Asianization” of Australia, Asia has become a factor in many aspects of Australia’s external relations and even domestic politics. Australia’s Immigration policy could be a focal point in that web of complex relations.
The post-World War II immigration program has discernable and positive impacts on Australia’s economy, society, population, and culture. The issue today is can Australia Compete with other two major immigrant-receiving countries, the United States and Canada? Does Australia have the ability to attract the number and type of migrants it desires? The verdict is not in yet, but it is worth pondering.