'Fair Dinkum' Migration Policy: Lessons from Australia




Markowski, Stefan
Williams, Katarzyna

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For most of its history, the Australian Federation has embraced large-scale immigration as an imperative of population growth and a development opportunity. Although it is often seen as one of the most immigrant-welcoming nations in the world, Australia has also applied a comprehensive migration governance regime comprising discriminatory immigration and integration strategies, policies and procedures aimed at ensuring that migrant flows are controlled to facilitate best economic outcomes for the country as well as the smooth integration of new arrivals into its socio-economic fabric. This governance regime favours particular categories of newcomers, mostly younger and skilled, and discourages others by means of a harsh system of border controls that reticulates to offshore detention centres all entry-seekers who are considered unauthorised and/or illegal. Thus, despite its enviable record of immigrant acceptance and assimilation, Australia’s tough border controls have attracted a great deal of international opprobrium. The Australian electorate has long supported such tough measures providing the overall migration governance system is ‘fair dinkum’ – ‘transparent, equitable and honest’ in local vernacular. And, in contrast to many other countries, Australia has also learnt much faster from its experience and has therefore been more politically bipartisan and effective at addressing problems of mass, cross-border mobility as they emerge. This chapter reviews the history of Australian migration governance to highlight those aspects that should be of interest to other nations, in particular the EU.






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Relations between Immigration and Integration Policies in Europe: Challenges, Opportunities and Perspectives in Selected EU Member States

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Open Access

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Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license



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