Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said today that Labor's announcement of unlimited parent visas showed a complete lack of regard for sensible immigration and population planning.

“The Government has introduced a sensible, economically responsible new visa that allows parents to come to Australia for up to 10 years,” Mr Coleman said.

“Open to 15,000 parents per year, it is designed to support migrant communities across Australia. In addition, the visa has been designed to protect the interest of Australian taxpayers. An extensive consultation process was held during 2016 and 2017 to design this new program.”

Mr Coleman said that under Labor's proposal, an unlimited number of people could come to Australia for a continuous period up to 10 years.

“There are currently more than 97,000 people seeking various kinds of permanent parent visas to Australia,” Mr Coleman said. “These programs are carefully managed to ensure that the number of visas granted are sustainable for the Australian economy and population growth.

“Under Labor's new visa, there is absolutely no limit to the number of people who can enter the country for up to 10 years. This is no way to run a sensible immigration program, or population policy.

“Today, Shadow Immigration Minister Shayne Neumann refused to say how many additional residents Labor will issue visas to under this scheme. Either they don’t know, or they won’t say. Bill Shorten must state how many additional residents Labor will be issuing visas to each year.

The Productivity Commission found in 2016 that large costs to taxpayers were incurred through the parent visa program. The Commission estimated that the cost to taxpayers of a permanent parent visa holder were between $335,000 and $410,000 per adult.

“Labor knows full well that this proposal would be completely unsustainable. It is trying to perpetrate a cruel hoax on migrant communities.

“Only the Morrison Government can be trusted to manage an orderly immigration program and sensibly plan for our future population.

“Labor’s announcement shows that they just don’t know the cost of anything and can’t be trusted to manage money. If you can’t manage money, then you can’t run the country. That’s why Labor is the Bill Australia cannot afford.”