Oz Government working on regional immigration reforms

Australia’s Prime Minister has admitted he is considering ideas to push more migrants to regional areas to deal with rapid growth in the major cities of Sydney and Melbourne.

Speaking to Fairfax Media, PM Scott Morrison – a former Immigration Minister – stated that priority will be placed on encouraging migrants to go to parts of the country that need growth.

“Smaller capitals like Adelaide and Hobart and so on and even Perth – they want more people. But in Sydney and Melbourne they don’t. I get that,” he said in an interview the newspaper.

One frequently churned out idea to encourage a wider disparity of migrant settlement is to offer more points, or fast-tracked visas, to those who settle Sydney and Melbourne. However, PM Morrison believes halting the flow of international students to the country’s two largest cities could also be an option.

“There is no case for it in Adelaide, there’s no case for it in Perth, there’s no case for it in Hobart or James Cook University [in Queensland],” he said. “But there could be a case for it in Melbourne or the University of New South Wales or UTS (University of Technology, Sydney),” he said.

The belief is that encouraging more international students to study in other parts of the country will lead to more people putting down roots in regional areas, thus enhancing the chances of them staying in that area should they stay onto become permanent residents after graduation.

In the interview, Mr Morrison said there were “many levers” to be used to get the right outcome and that the composition of the intake was more important than the total number nationwide.

“You can have very low levels of immigration and the effect can be very positive. You can have high levels of immigration and the composition actually means it is not good for the economy,” he said. “The real question is about the composition and how it’s implemented. That’s how you have a fair dinkum conversation about these things.”

Article published 10th September 2018