Alan Tudge, Population Minister, had recently announced a new population plan for Australia. The new plan aims to encourage new immigrants to move to regional areas instead of the already crowded cities.
The plan also seeks to introduce some incentives including Regional Visas. This will help regional areas grow with the help of migration.
Increasing immigration to rural areas no doubt will boost the Australian economy by revitalizing the communities and their population.
Here is how Australia can make migration work for its regional areas:
- Each local Govt. area, through community consultation, develop a strategic vision of how they want the region to look in the next 5, 10 or 20 years. This will give the Govt. a clear idea of how many people are needed in the region and whether the existing facilities can support that number.
- The Govt. should recognize the role of the local community. It should ensure that the local community should be informed about the new arrivals. They should also be allowed to ask questions or voice their concerns. The local community should also be encouraged to plan opportunities to welcome the new immigrants into their schools, clubs and events.
- The Govt. should understand that new immigrants will need support to settle in the country. It is important to instil in them a sense of belonging. Australians are known to be friendly and outgoing, especially the ones from rural areas. This can make a significant contribution to making the regional migration plan a success.
- For regional migration to sustain, new immigrants must find job opportunities. Regional employers should be encouraged to include newcomers in their teams and provide them with the necessary tools and support to succeed.
- Besides employment, housing availability is also key to the success of the regional migration plan. A regional area that has jobs but no housing will not be able to sustain immigration. The Govt. should incentivize residential development in regional Australia.
- For regional migration to be successful, social and community cohesion is a critical factor. Only then can migration be sustained and become successful and benefit one and all.
- Customs and culture should be celebrated. It is the diversity in Australia that makes it unique. Learning about other cultures, both for new immigrants and locals should be encouraged, as per Grenfell Record.
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