Wednesday, 8 June 2011


Another classic.

This phrase is slowly getting thrown around by those who really don't have the slightest idea about how the world works. If you asked them how the inflow of asylum seekers affected the Australian economy and our bottom line, none of them could tell you with certainty what the deal was. You could expect a ho-hum stock standard response along the lines of "THEY TERK ERR JERRRBBSS" but when you respond with the current statistics on skill shortages in Australia, they wouldn't know how to answer. It's easier then to shrug it off and keep believing that they terk er jerrbss than spending some time actually looking into the economic impact of accepting asylum seekers into our country. The shameful thing is, people are innately racist and when offered legitimate information they try their hardest to find a reason to ignore it. Whether its a stubborn pride thing that they dont want to change their minds, it's still a shame.

So to begin with, let's look at something simple. Let's disect this phrase statement at the most basic of levels.

So we're full are we? As in, we can't fit anymore people in? Our country is not big enough to hold more people? Ok then... Let's compare the geographic size of the United States to the size of Australia.

Total surface area of the world: 510 million square kilometres
Total Surface area of Australia: 7.2 million square kilometres (1.5% of the earth)
Total Surface area of the USA: 9.6 million square kilometres (1.9% of the earth)

Ok, so the USA is practically the same size as Australia. If you want to get technical, the US is only approx 25% larger than Australia. If you find this hard to believe, you probably have never looked at an atlas. So just for you, here it is:

FYI, Australia is the 6th largest country in the world.

So now we know how big our country is, How many people can we fit in here? Well, how much does America fit in there?

Population of the US: 309 million people
Population of Australia:  22.6 million

Hold on... if the US is only 25% larger than Australia, why can it fit in almost 15 times more people? That's 1500% more, btw. One Thousand, Five hundred percent. If Australia is full, isn't the USA SUPER DUPER FULL?

"Well.." you might say, "A big portion of Australia is desert. It's uninhabitable."
To which I say "Las Vegas is built in the middle of a Desert too."

Humans have the capabilities to reclaim uninhabitable land as their own through the expanding of roads and infrastructure. In Cape Town, South Africa, in the 1940s they pushed the ocean back 194 hectares to reclaim the land. 70 years ago, The Cape Town foreshore was under the ocean. Now it is covered in buildings and infrastructure, and is a hub of activity.
So if things got desperate, this writer does not think we'd have too much trouble expanding roads, pipelines and trains. We do it anyway for the mining industry. Newman in Western Australia is a full city built in the middle of the outback

BUT - that's if things got desperate. Things are not desperate.

"Oh but wait! things are desperate! Australia is MAINLY desert, we can't afford to feed more people! We don't have the resources!"


This is another catch phrase occasionally tacked onto the end of the "fuck off were full" complaint, or complaints like those discussed in This Article. I encourage those who hear someone say this to ask them how much food Australia produces each year vs how much we consume. Chances are they won't have the slightest idea. But for our convenience, this writer has done the research for you (references to all legitimate information sources are at the bottom of this article)

In the period of 2009-2010, the value of Australia’s food EXPORTS was $24.3 billion while the value of Australia’s food imports was $10.1 billion over the same period. In short, we sent overseas more than double what we brought in.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig commented on the 2009/2010 report, and said Australia continues to be in a strong position as a food exporter.

“Australia is founded on a strong agricultural sector. This report confirms that Australia continues to produce far more food that we can consume with a significant food surplus of $14.2 billion in 2009-10,” Minister Ludwig said.

So what now?

 So now that we know we have enough food for everyone, and that we've got enough space for everyone - just how many refugees are we accepting each year, do we even need to worry about space and food? Let's take a look at the statistics found by simply googling "Australian Refugee yearly intake" and then finding the most current source. 

Took this writer about 5 minutes to find that Australia's current refugee quota is 16,000 refugees per year. And out of that 16,000 people quota, only 8,250 applications for asylum were submitted to Australian Immigration in 2010. This writer could not find information on what % of those applications were accepted. It is safe to assume that it is less than 100%. But for arguments sake, lets just say 8,250 refugees were granted asylum last year.

(Side note: The USA has a refugee quota of 80,000 refugees per year. Last year, 78700 claims for asylum were lodged to the US.)

So how does 8,250 new residents in Australia compare to how fast Australia is growing each year naturally through birth rates? Well according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2009 Australia gave birth 295,000 times. That means that we are contributing 50 times more people than the refugees, purely by having families. The birth rates have been around this level for years, and Australia has only grown and prospered during the past 20 years. Another 8250 (2% of the birth rate) is not going to have a noticeable affect on the economy. Not an economy that has a $14 BILLION food excess, in the 6th largest country in the world.

Besides, if we're really that full, maybe its time we start promoting the use of condoms a bit more? .... Nah.

The well-cultivated critical thinker:
Richard Linden and Linda Elder, 2008

  • raises vital questions and problems,formulating them clearly and precisely;
  • gathers and assesses relevant information;
  • carefully interprets information to form well-reasoned conclusions;
  • tests conclusions,evaluating against relevant criteria;
  • thinks open-mindedly,avoiding the influence of untested or irrational concepts and beliefs;and
  • communicates effectively with others,particularly in the development and testing of conclusions or solutions.


 Australian Food Industry:

Population Data:
Australia -

Australian Bureau of Statistics - Birth Rates:


  1. haha to be fair, we have a lot of americans saying they don't want any immigrants too!

  2. I think the reason is that people are pissed watching immigrants coming into their town and opening up lucrative business models in their area. People don't like to be 2nd class citizen in their own country.

    Like in Ausie they open up various laundries, convenient store and taking up the jobs in IKEA etc.

    Which raises the amount of racism thus the fuck of we're full campaign.

  3. I think in the next few years what we actually are going to see is lots of young Americans leave the country. I can tell you there is something of a movement stirring on the west coast. Sort of a new bohemian/hippie culture of young people tired of the way America is run. Many travel about making it by trading drugs, food, crafts whatever. Anyways, what I'm hearing a lot is such people saying they are leaving the country. For some reason many are convinced South America is a great place to go try to live. I'm not sure but I do understand this "abandon ship" outlook.

  4. Quite a few take jobs no one else would, simply because it pays, if you were to ask them "Would you rather do that" they'd just say no. Not really taking your jobs if you're not willing to do them yourself are they.

  5. I had no idea Australia had enough good land to generate a food surplus (among other things).

  6. Good read, have a great weekend!

  7. I think that core of the problem liest elsewhere. Somehow the principle that refuges or imigrants should be welcomed with open arms and few reasonable restrictions has established itself in minds of too many people. First of all goverments should put that case to referendum. With all important info about pros (for example cheap labor or infuse of young blood into aging society) and cons. Instead of that goverments make refuge and imigrational policies themselves,

  8. nice post, got nothing else to say :)

  9. I was thinkin' about moving to australia, I hope that makes some people mad :>

  10. Great read, I really like the idea of your blog and critical approach towards i.e. lots of different government-given data.

  11. I'll have to comment on the graphic itself. I love that towards the bottom of the graphic, it identifies U.S.A. as North America, and just excludes Canada and Mexico. Or could it have been that they just mislabeled U.S.A. as North America?

  12. The map used labels the continents, not the specific country. But the area in the square is the specific country, not the continent.

  13. I hate it when people use these sort of stupid arguments. keep it up!

  14. Good point of view, keep posting.

  15. Very informative and educational. I don't find I otherwise pay any attention to what's going on down there. Thanks for the info and point of view!

    (snicker... they terk err jerrrbs)