Murdoch says Australia needs more immigration

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The Australian-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch has used a speech in Sydney to call for Australia to become 'the world's most diverse nation' because of the 'incredible political advantage' this would bring.

Mr Murdoch was speaking at Sydney Town Hall as a guest of the Lowy Institute, a right-wing policy institute. It was established by Frank Lowy, the founder of the Westfield Shopping Centre group. Mr Murdoch gave the 10th annual Lowy Lecture. He travelled to Sydney from his home in the United States.

He told his audience that 'The 21st century is Australia's for the taking'. He said that Australia could become a major economic power if;

  • It maintained its entrepreneurial 'have a go' culture
  • It Increased immigration and
  • It positioned itself to profit from 'disruption' caused to the global economy by innovation

Murdoch emigrated from Australia

Mr Murdoch is an international migrant himself. He was born in Australia, made much of his fortune in the UK and now lives in the US, having adopted US citizenship in 1985 to enable him to own US television stations.

He told his audience that immigration would help Australia thrive. He said that the story of Frank Lowy was now 'the story of Australia'. Mr Lowy travelled to Australia from Slovakia, via Israel before setting up a deli delivery business.

Lowy immigrated to Australia

Lowy was born to a Jewish family in what is now Slovakia in 1930 and left at the age of 15 for Israel where he fought for Israeli independence from the British. He then left for Australia at the age of 22.

Mr Murdoch said 'The nations that lead this century will be the ones most successful at attracting and keeping talent'.

He said that Australia was already outstripping the US as a nation of immigrants. He said 'We think of the United States as an immigrant nation - and rightly so. But the percentage of foreign-born in the United States - a country currently wracked by a self-defeating debate over immigration policy - is just about 12 per cent. In Australia, it is double that'.

'An incredible competitive advantage' - Murdoch

Mr Murdoch said that this was ''an incredible competitive advantage'. He explained 'A nation as small as ours will increasingly depend on trade. The more people we have with ties to other parts of the world, the greater our advantage when we seek trade relationships with these nations'.

Mr Murdoch also praised migrants for their drive and acumen. He said 'What immigrant would leave family and history far behind for a life of indolence? People come here because they seek a better life for themselves and their children, and they believe in opportunity'.

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