The arrival of the Wuhan coronavirus in Australia induced major changes to Federal and State migration policy. What this revealed about Interstate migration was startling. According to WA Police, closure of state borders significantly restricted the movement of people, disrupting the movement of illicit drugs.

Water Testing revealed large reductions in methylamphetamine use across Metropolitan Perth. Providing evidence that a significant quantity of methylamphetamine is transported from the Eastern States into WA.

Population size and criminal activity

The impact of WA’s interstate border closure has had an excellent outcome when it comes to lowering drug crime and improving community safety. However, sooner or later Australia’s’ interstate and international borders will be reopened.

The fact that the volume of crime is related to the size of a jurisdiction’s population has been well established and is of concern. The Morrison government operates a massive migration intake program. And immigration fuelled population growth is a main driver of the Morrison government’s budget forecasts, over the next 3 years

It is interesting to note the findings by the WA Police Force highlight the severe downside of having an unrestricted border with the other states. To the extent the WA Police Force is undertaking a review of state border policing to determine opportunities post COVID-19 to minimise the transport of methylamphetamine across state borders.

The McGowan government plan to grow Perth by another 1 million over 20 years. Accelerated population growth requires extra police officers. As a result, the McGowan government embarked on the single biggest police recruitment drive in the State’s history. Labor’s rapid population vision for Perth requires an extra 800 officers for community safety.

There is an alternative – the WAP’S lower migration plan

However, there is an alternative to the WA labor party’s rapid population growth policy.

Population Research WA has applied Australian Bureau of Statistics population projections for Greater Perth.

Demonstrating that by halving the ABS overseas migration predictions by 50%. Western Australia’s population could still maintain employment and economic growth, at a more socially responsible level over the next 2 decades. See Chart 1 below.

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017)

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