Australia ‘needs more immigrants’

The head of Shell Australia has insisted that the country needs to boost immigration to help grow the economy.

According to Andrew Smith, the head of the oil giant’s Australian division, not enough has been done to encourage new immigrants to settle in regional areas of Australia.

“It is only through population growth that economic diversity will be delivered, unlocking the potential of Australia’s north,” he told a Melbourne Mining Club lunch.

“Often-hysterical debate has surrounded Australian immigration in the new millennium,” he explained. “There has been a failure of industry to advocate for an immigration programme that will provide economic stimulus to a sluggish economy.”

However, Smith said that he does not believe that continuing to bring in temporary workers from overseas on 457 visas is a long-term fix to Australia’s economic problems.

“Industry leaders need to both advocate for a balanced mix of skilled and humanitarian migration, then back up our advocacy with meaningful decisions that contribute to legacy,” he said.

Article published 5th August 2016