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The original article was at Immigration to Australia
When the war ended, the government took an entirely new approach to migration. The near invasion of Australia by the Japanese caused a complete rethink of ideal population numbers. As Prime Minister Ben Chifley would later declare, ‘a powerful enemy looked hungrily toward Australia. In tomorrow’s gun flash that threat could come again. We must populate Australia as rapidly as we can before someone else decides to populate it for us.’ In 1945, the Department of Immigration was established, headed up by Arthur Calwell. It resolved that Australia should have annual population growth of two per cent, of which only half could come from natural increase. 70,000 immigrants a year were needed to make up the difference.
Australia's approach to immigration from federation until the ..
When the colonies federated in 1901, control of immigration changed. Instead of each colony managing its own system, the Commonwealth now oversaw recruiting and selection. Assisted passages were offered to encourage migration with priority still being given to the British and Irish. Despite comparatively large numbers of Chinese residents in Australia, the first legislation passed by the new parliament was the Immigration Restriction Act. Often referred to as the ‘White Australia policy’ this effectively banned Asian migration for the next fifty years. That same year the Federal Parliament passed the Pacific Islands Labourers Act to prohibit their employment as contract labourers and to deport those already here.