Australia’s yearly intake of skilled migrants and their families should be radically cut to just 70,000, according to One Nation’s top Senate candidate in Queensland.
The current cap has been set at 190,000 since 2011, but the actual intake fell to its during the past financial year, with just 163,000 permanent arrivals.
Mr Roberts will lead the One Nation ticket in the Senate in the party’s traditional stronghold state of Queensland at the next federal election, which is due to take place by May.
He was ejected from parliament earlier in the year when the High Court found he held a dual citizenship, in breach of Section 44 of the Constitution.
Party leader Pauline Hanson has a six-year term and her seat will not be in contested.
One Nation is known for its anti-immigration policies, but will need to compete with rivals like Katter’s Australia Party, whose members have called for a .
“I have done the research in detail but that's what we're going with, but I'm not making this a party issue and there are others who say - around 70,000, which is a zero net,” Mr Roberts told the LibertyFest conference in Brisbane on Saturday.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson in the Senate (AAP) Source: AAP
Mr Roberts said he wanted immigration, not “colonisation”. The former senator was speaking in a debate titled: “Immigration, how to draw the line.”
The One Nation candidate, once Senator Hanson’s second-in-command, is not the only prominent politician to call for cuts. Government backbencher Tony Abbott was vocal in calling for a cut during the previous Turnbull administration.
In a recent interview with SBS News, immigration minister David Coleman but did not hint at any changes to the annual cap.