Albury’s “multicultural flavour” leaves sour taste.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few years, it possibly won’t have escaped your attention that the sleepy city of Albury has become home to some (or rather a lot of) new arrivals of late. As featured nationally on the SBS propaganda series “go back where you came from”, Australian government policy has determined that moving significant numbers of non english speaking migrants out of the cities and into regional areas might be a good idea.

While this may assuage the middle class consciences of many, I would urge everyone to take a moment to consider just how democratic (or rather undemocratic) this process has been. As a fairly keen follower of Australian politics for a few decades now, and an avid reader of Australian history which gives me some insight into a considerable period of time before that, I would put it to readers, that the process of Australia adopting multiculturalism as a national policy has never actually been put up for debate. Instead, what we have endured in this country is a succession of governments of both sides of Australian politics, leap frogging through time, all the while with a constant agenda, namely that we won’t bother to ask the Australian public how they feel about a particular wave of immigration, we’ll just do it.

A “Father knows best” approach to immigration displayed by both sides of Australian politics.

Many decry the “inhumane” treatment of illegal boat arrivals in Australia (notably the ineffectual UNHRC, as well as certain minority lobby groups represented politically by the Australian greens), many more applaud the Howard government’s “tough stance on immigration”, few realise (or are willing to admit) that the Howard era presided over the single largest influx of non english speaking migrants in Australia’s history. While public attention was focussed on rioting going on in places like Villawood, through the back door, the Howard government rolled out the red carpet to wave after wave of non english speaking migrants.

Let me leave you with this question. IF you, as a voter, were to look at the events in nations like the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Chechnya, India, China and the events in Cronulla back in 2005 and think “I would hate to see that in this country” what democratic course of action is available to you?

In other words if you see multiculturalism as a shortcut to national instability, increased ethnic tension in the community and an erosion of Australian culture, values and overall way of life, who do you vote for?

With every political would-be-if-they-could-be in lockstep on this issue, where’s the choice?

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About alburywodongaonline

Hi I'm Jack Stone (a pseudonym), I'm a long-time Albury resident and I think it's a great place to live and work. I have a strong interest in local events and media and I started this site because I think a different perspective is often needed when reporting local news. I take a keen interest in local politics, as well as what's going on at the state and federal level, I'm also a supporter of social justice issues, the envirionment and the need for people to have a say in the events that effect their lives. I'm a fan of the Border Bandits and I'd love to see both teams take the flag this year, and next year, and maybe the one after that too.
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8 Responses to Albury’s “multicultural flavour” leaves sour taste.

  1. Bob says:

    Are you serious? I’m not sure, but are you saying that the current intake of migrants that we see in Albury ( Thais, Vietnamese, Indians) is causing national and potentially local instability? You mean the hard working migrants doing the jobs that our local bogans are too lazy or too stupid to do? The ones opening businesses in the CBD? Those trouble makers? Maybe you haven’t noticed, but nearly every young person with half a brain and chance leaves this town for other (ANY other) place as soon as they can. This town needs these migrants, it needs them desperately. Even with cheap land, and access to mostly decent services, people are not flocking here. The proof is in our own councils very modest growth projections. I’m sure you have scoured the councils website, but they actually point out that Albury’s youth for the most part leaves for Melbourne and Sydney. The only thing that keeps the population growing is the influx of country people fleeing even worse towns like Finley, Henty and Wagga. Albury has below average wages, more of its population lives below the poverty line than the state average and we ranked near the bottom of the local councils and shires on across the board rankings, somewhere down in the 500’s. Anything that can make this town more attractive, and change the depressing external understanding of this place as a joke (much derided by all, have you watched Rove before?) should be embraced. Is there friction? There is always friction with newcomers. Has Albury benefited from immigration? You take a walk through town and imagine Albury without the Thai, Laotian, Chinese, Indian, Lebanese, Italian, and Greek businesses. Welcome to Albury circa 1970. Just in case you haven’t noticed: It Sucks!!

  2. Dear GOD where do I start with this misguided individual? Firstly I’d say you’ve been sucessfully conditioned to hate your own culture, well done, ANY culture as long as it isn’t your own eh Bob?
    Secondly you seem to draw no distinction whatsoever between economic immigrants and so called refugees/ asylum seekers whatever you want to call them, fair enough there is no difference, if all they cared about was avoiding the stray bullets which supposedly whip past their heads they’d be perfecty content to take up residence in the third world toilet that borders the third world toilet they came from in the first place. They aren’t of course, they want the milk and honey that comes with being in Australia, just as long as they don’t have to adapt one iota to our way of life.
    There are exceptions of course, but for the most part multiculturalism just plain, straight out simply DOESN’T WORK.
    Just because you hate your heritage doesn’t mean we all have to. I suggest you go speak to our indigenous cousins about the “merits” of multiculturalism, see how much they’ve benefitted. NOT ONE ZOT that’s how much.
    Lastly I’d suggest with all due respect (which is none) that just because you like to hold hands in a circle and sing “it’s a small world after all” on harmony day doesn’t mean everyone has to. Multiculturalism is a farce, it creates more problems than it solves and worst of all the Australian public HAS NEVR BEEN GIVEN A CHOICE ABOUT WHETHER THEY WANT IT OR NOT.

    It’s a blight that’s been forced on the Australian public to the detriment of our culture, way of life and values for no other reason than to fill minimum wage jobs that native born Australians would expect better pay and conditions for. In other words, the rich packing them in to make even more money for the rich and slinging them into ghettos with downtrodden Australians. It’s a recipie for disaster.
    If you GENUINELY believe multiculturalism is a stabilising influence I suggest you take a quick glance over the events that engulfed the former Yugoslavia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    Ethnic tension is an anathema we could do without in this country and we roll out the red carpet to it every day of the week. More fool us.

  3. Bob says:

    I fail to see how any of what i said highlights that i hate “my” culture. Far from it, i mean after all isn’t part of “my” culture immigration? Where do you come from? And what do you mean by “Just because you hate your heritage doesn’t mean we all have to” ? My heritage is thus: German/ Irish,
    family immigrated in the 1830’s, settled at Walla Walla, moved to Albury around 1890. I know my heritage, and i’m proud of it.
    I don’t see how the current lot of immigrants is really different to those that went before, nor that the tenor of the debate is any different. Don’t forget the rampant sectarianism that took place in this country for most of its history, the open segregation and hatred between Protestants and Catholics, too often simply a guise for hatred of the Irish. Don’t forget that just to our north there is a little town called Holbrook, the town formerly known as Germanton, name changed for not so nice reasons. Don;t forget that this region saw some of its “German” residents interned during WWI. What you call “Multiculturalism” has existed in this country, and in this area, ever since settlement. It is only the passing of time that has made it seem as though we have always had a homogenous culture. You appear to discount the waves of immigrants that came this century. You think that the same debates and criticisms did not permeate this country then? The same criticisms about segregation and lack of adaptation were leveled against these groups. Over time these groups integrated almost completely into the mainstream of Australian life, but they also changed it forever. Would Melbourne be recognisable without its Italian and Greek populations? Much of what we celebrate about modern Australia, our food and urban culture, comes from this mix of immigrants and what they brought with them. This is not to discount what our culture was before.Why does it have to be a zero-sum game?
    When Albury’s Laotian community began immigrating here in the 1970’s, they were dirt poor with what seemed like little ability in succeeding in this country. However they did, and they have made this place the better for it.You haven’t acknowledged any of the successes of Australia’s immigration history. So what if some migrants that come now come from war torn s***-holes? So did my family, one half fleeing persecution at the hands of Prussians, the other fleeing the English. After close to 170 years here we have “assimilated” almost completely into the fabric our country, but our country has changed around us to reflect us more. You would never stop to think that once i would have been precluded from a job, school or marriage because i was Irish and Catholic, but this was the Australia of little more than 60 years ago.
    Immigration to this country has never been wide eyed and messianic. You may perceive that from my post, but look closer. Immigration here has always, and will always be, driven by bare necessity. We need willing workers, to grow our economy. Have we become poorer due to immigration? No, we have have become the 6th richest country on the planet (Due in part to immigration http://www.economist.com/blogs/multimedia/2011/05/special_report_australia). We are only “multicultural” by necessity. From past experience it takes 2 generations before immigrants are completely naturalised. I know i’ll still be here then, but i’m not sure that you will be. However i’ll make this bet with you anyway. If this country has devolved into a Balkan like nightmare by 2050 i’ll give you five of our new Chinese denominated dollars, and if if it hasn’t you can stop rolling around in your grave.

  4. Firstly pouring unskilled/ semi skilled migration into a country or a region in the hope of achieving zero unemployment or close to it is just folly, absolute folly plain and simple. Dressing unskilled economic migration up as “asylum seeking” is dishonest, unscrupulous and a slap in the face to actual genuine refugees languishing in UN run shitholes for decades.
    I’ll grant you that a certain amount of multiculturalism is unavoidable, once white colonials set foot on these shores alongside the existing indigenous population there was multiculturalism.
    In fact it was here before then too, Australia was once a nation of warring fiefdoms, I’m sure you’re already aware.
    It caused problems then, it continues to cause problems now and will continue to cause problems long after you and I are both dust.

    My argument is essentially this, multiculturalism causes problems, more problems than it solves, it creates.
    Why then would any sensible rational government endorse it? why then would any sensible rational thinking person endorse it?
    They wouldn’t UNLESS over the course of several decades, using a variety of propaganda tools, government departments, legislative changes and the like the entire population has been conditioned to unquestioningly swallow it.

    “You DARE question the great and mighty multiculturalism….RACIST” comes the cry.
    Ostracism in short. For daring to point out that the emperor wears no clothes.
    Any nation that strives for cohesiveness and unity should as a matter of urgency be striving for a collective identity, multiculturalism is the EXACT OPPOSITE of this, ergo, by embracing this ridiculous policy, our governments and a significant portion of our citizenry are embracing DIS-cohesiveness. Instability in other words.

    I’d suggest despite your protestations about your pride in your heritage, the fact that you’d so willingly hand your cultural legacy over to any Wasim-come-lately for a souvlaki and a pat on the head from the UN would suggest otherwise.

    Currently there are 22 (or so) million people in Australia, half of them were born overseas or are first generation born here (ie by your own admission not integrated), exactly how many more human imports do think are needed to irreparably corrode Australia’s culture? it’s values? it’s core beliefs?

    By world standards our population is miniscule and already HALF of it is culturally “other”.
    Judging by your disparaging comments about Australian culture, you may think it no great loss to see the existing culture of this country go the way of the dodo, I think it’d be an absolute tragedy.

  5. Greg Naylor says:

    The problem with multiculturalism in Australia is that we only seem to get people from mono-cultures who have no desire to become part of our culture – rather they want us to conform to the culture they represent – the one that forced them out of their own homes. There used to be an old saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. Now, there’s a good idea!

  6. Indeed it is Greg, and not just for travellers to Italy.
    You on the mend old mate?
    I see Tony Abbott has bought into the debacle (surprise surprise) coming out in FAVOUR of multiculturalism, he claims that people from overseas become “Australianised” (must have missed that word in my Maquarie dictionary), certainly this hasn’t been my observation, sounds like it isn’t yours and I’m sure if Mr. Abbott were honest he’d admit it was’t his either.

    I suspect the reality is more like that at this point we have actually lt so many people in from overseas that we have actually lost control of our borders.

    It’s a frustrating prospect that by the time I’m an old man, the English language I’ve grown up with may be so scarce as to render me unable to communicate with the people around me.

    It’s happening already and it needs to stop. Unfortunately it seems that for every voting NESB, there’s at least one “Bob” who can’t pack ’em in quick enough either.

    I think it’s a sad state of affairs and I’m certain I’m not alone.

  7. Bob's mate says:

    The country would grind to a halt without immigration. There simply aren’t enough ‘real australians’ (said with ironic emphasis) to keep this country running and moving forward.

    Open your eyes. We’re all immigrants here.

  8. your a well trained lap dog aren’t you “bob’s mate”, you’ve been watching so many SBS pro multiculturalism propaganda pieces trussed up as “documentaries” you can recite them.

    I was born here, far back as I can trace both sides of my family tree were as well.
    I’m no immigrant.
    I certainly didn’t wash up on a beach with the tide uninvited, unskilled and looking for a fat wad of welfare cash from Joe taxpayer.
    We’re in a position where we could scalp the brightest and best of overseas talent in all fields, instead we piss away visas on boatloads of illegals that contribute nothing but social problems, further drain on an already stretched mental health infrastructure, public housing and welfare.
    Since your all about politically correct arse kissery, why don’t you go find some “traditional landowners” and ask them how well multiculturalism has panned out for them?
    Not so well I’d say.

    Peddle your economic rationalist “populate or perish” bullshit elsewhere, do us all a favour.
    Fuck off you sheep.

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