Immigration, multiculturalism and Australian identity

Murray Goot, Ian Watson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


When the Howard government was elected in 1996, immigration and multiculturalism were important issues. Net migration was at a highter level than at any other time in the 1990s and aspects of Labor's immigration policy, including its policy on family reunions, were generating vocal opposition. There were concerns, too, about some of the assumptions underlying Labor's policies on multiculturalism. The Liberal Party's promise to govern 'For all of us', as their campaign slogan put it, was interpreted by some as an implicit attempt, amongst other things, to mobilise these concerns; certainly some of Paul Keating's advisers wanted him to make multiculturalism 'less threatening' (Williams 1996, p. 173). In the Australian Election Study (AES), conducted shortly after the election, more respondents said the Coalition was closer to their position on immigration than said Labor; indeed, on none of the other issues canvassed in the survey was the Coalition's lead over Labor (25 percentage points) greater than it was on immigration (Goot 2004, p. 62).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralian social attitudes
Subtitle of host publicationthe first report
EditorsShaun Wilson, Gabrielle Meagher, Rachel Gibson, David Denemark, Mark Western
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherUniversity of New South Wales Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)0868406716
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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