ANTI-IMMIGRATION leaflets posted in letterboxes in the inner-west have outraged ethnic community leaders and a senior Federal Government official.

The leaflets read: ''600,000 immigrants arrived in the last 4 years. That's more than Tasmania. More than Aborigines. More than Newcastle. More than we need.''

They are part of a campaign led by an anonymous group identified only by a triangular design in the bottom right corner of the leaflet.

The chairman of the Federation of Ethnic Communities' Council of Australia, Pino Migliorino, questioned the leaflet's intentions. "It's really interesting that in the lead-up to Australia Day you get such vagrant behaviour … It's a day that's supposed to unite us and it becomes a day that can manipulate."

Mr Migliorino said the nation's leaders should stand up for migrants. "The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister need to take the front foot and show they appreciate migration … What we need to do is actively seek to lessen the incidence of racist violence."

But the parliamentary secretary for Multicultural Affairs, Laurie Ferguson, said the Government supported immigrants. "The Prime Minister recently announced … a belief in Australia having a larger population."

Mr Ferguson said the information on the leaflet misrepresented the attitudes of Australians.

The chairman of the Ethnic Affairs Commission of NSW, Stepan Kerkyasharian, said Australia Day should be about celebration, not racism. A recent survey by the Scanlan Foundation found 60 per cent of people supported the migration level.