"Any sovereign nation has the right to determine how it will exercise its compassion and how it will increase its population."
I think I have heard that sort of sentiment more recently – was it John Howard? Hard to believe since compared to his Labor predecessors Howard expanded both the refugee and migration intakes.
Rudd, when asked whether ‘Advance Australia Fair’ fills him with pride, said:
‘It does, and the reason it does is when you’ve got verses like ‘For those who come across the seas we’ve boundless plains to share’ that that should be the resolve of any Australian Government, unlike the one we replaced which seemed to pull up the shutters when it came to our proper international obligations, particularly to refugees who found themselves in real strife.
(Hat tip for the last quote to Andrew Bolt).
While his detractors might suggest that Rudd is knowingly lying his head off here I'd prefer to assume is just another instant of his compulsive grap for the glib phrase regardless of any issues of truth. Truth is secondary when those famous cliches start rolling off his tongue.
BTW, to be fair, Rudd has increased the skilled migration intake significantly. Probably reflects the fact that Aussies generally are more relaxed about having migrants – although only one-third want public support for preservation of ethnic cultural identity among migrants.