MEDIA RELEASE | 12 JULY 2023
Racial and economic justice advocates are slamming Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett for his divisive comments this morning, blaming migrants for the housing crisis that impacts all of us.
Democracy in Colour National Director, Neha Madhok said “This morning Mr Kennett has joined the divisive pile-on by scapegoating migrants, while ignoring any of the real reasons that everyday working people are doing it tough during this housing crisis.
“While the rich continue to get richer, people from all backgrounds and walks of life across Australia are feeling the pressure from rising interest rates and rents.
“Mr Kennett has made no mention of the successive Governments that have refused to take measures required to ensure housing is accessible to all.
“By targeting migration without mention of negative gearing, capital gains tax concessions and inheritance, Mr Kennett has opted for divisive race baiting that is detrimental to our society.
“Our communities are fed up with politicians sitting in their ivory towers, blaming people of colour for their own economic policy failures, rather than proposing solutions for all who live in Australia, regardless of their visa status or colour of their skin.
“These comments are a deliberate attempt at distracting Australians through race baiting, from the real problem – corporations raking in record profits while most Australians struggle to make ends meet. This only creates resentment about migration and doesn’t address any of the policy areas that would see a levelling of the playing field for all Australians.
“This is just another example of the long political tradition of racist scapegoating for political gain in this country. Over 50% of people in this country are from migrant families and in the middle of a housing crisis we all need genuine solutions that ensure every person in Australia has the dignity of secure housing.
“I would question what Mr Kennett intends to achieve by making these comments. The fact is that the migration levels we are experiencing in this country are the same as what was projected under the former Morrison Government and at that time Mr Kennett called for more migration.
“Democracy in Colour is calling on politicians from all sides to end the racialised scapegoating of migrants and to instead provide an honest, accountable assessment of the housing crisis.
“We need real solutions rather than political tactics steeped in racism. At a time when people across the country are facing mounting pressures, we need both sides of politics to engage in the substance of the crises we face, providing honest solutions that will serve all who live and work on this continent” she said.