Fiona Scott's claim is mostly false.
Asylum seekers were first blamed for jumping queues, now they are blamed for joining them.
The Liberal candidate in the western Sydney seat of Lindsay, Fiona Scott, infamously linked asylum seeker numbers and traffic overcrowding this week. She also said they played a role in the overcrowding of hospitals.
It's worth reading her words on Four Corners in context.
Reporter: That's a pretty hot topic, isn't it, asylum seekers?
Fiona Scott: Well yeah, it is a hot topic, but it's a hot topic here because our traffic is overcrowded. I mean you guys have been here a few days now, and I mean how much fun is the M4 in peak hour? It's not fun at all. And you know, you imagine a mum, you know, it's a classic example, ah trying to be back for a six o'clock pick-up from day-care, and every minute you're late you're getting charged. Now you multiply that by a couple of kids, it means that when you think of overcrowding it becomes an issue for people, it really does.
Reporter: So you mention asylum seekers and overcrowding. I don't quite get the connection.
Fiona Scott: Well, my recommendation is go and sit in the Emergency Department of Nepean Hospital or go and sit on the M4 and people see 50,000 people come in by boat; that's more than twice the population of Glenmore Park where we just were.
She was subsequently accused of suggesting the nation's 50,000-odd asylum seekers were causing overcrowding and sought to clarify her comments in the Penrith Press.
"That is not what I was saying at all," she said. "When people hear those sorts of numbers they are concerned."
Scott says she does not agree with the concerns. Nor does PolitiFact. It has looked into them and found them absurd.
PolitiFact did not take up Scott's advice and sit on the M4, though we did take a peek at the Live Traffic NSW's camera feeds. It was not a pretty sight.
It also had a quick look at NSW Health's handy website showing the number of patients waiting in Nepean Hospital's emergency department. At 2.40pm, there were four people waiting, but only two or none at nearby hospitals.
The surge of boat people since Rudd took office in 2007 totals 50,000, but most are not in western Sydney and fewer still have bought cars.
The Refugee Council of Australia says that in the areas surrounding the Nepean Hospital - Blacktown, Hawkesbury, Penrith and Blue Mountains – there were 161 asylum seekers last year. The 2011 census shows the area has a population of 617,861.
Paul Power, the head of the Refugee Council, says very few asylum seekers can afford cars and that many can no longer afford public transport because they are no longer entitled to work or to public transport concessions. If anything, he says, the people of western Sydney might have noticed "a modest increase in footpath traffic".
"The number of asylum seekers are small in a city of 4 to 5 million people - we are talking about 10,000 people at most," he says.
Western Sydney does have a higher proportion of residents not born in Australia, though the seat of Lindsay does not. About 75 per cent of Lindsay's 150,000-odd residents were born in Australia, compared with 70 per cent nationally.
Power says Australia has been taking in about 200,000 legal migrants a year and very few of these are asylum seekers. But, he says, many people may notice an influx of migrants and conflate this with the issue of asylum seekers.
"People see more diversity and more people and traffic is getting heavier and they hear a public debate about asylum seekers arriving. They are equating the two and it is not the case at all … This [overcrowding] was an issue in the 2010 election and there were even fewer asylum seekers then than now,” he says.
Does it stack up?
Clearly, asylum seekers are not to blame for problems with services in western Sydney.
But it is true that some people have made the link.
Scott herself is not blaming asylum seekers for a lack of services of western Sydney. But her comment suggests that it makes sense for people in her area to make the link.
She says she is simply reflecting the concerns of a community she seeks to represent. That community can make up its own mind on Saturday whether she is a suitable person to do so.
A PolitiFact rating of "mostly false" applies where a statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.
The element of truth lies in Scott's claim that asylum seekers are a hot topic sometimes linked to traffic.
PolitiFact rates her claim “mostly false”.
Details at www.politifact.com.au
Fairfax is partnering with the Pulitzer-prize winning service PolitiFact during the election campaign. Its Australian arm politifact.com.au uses the same rigorous methodology as its US parent to rate the accuracy of claims by elected officials and other influential people in the Australian political debate.
Twitter: @1petermartin @PolitiFactOz