The Australian Govt. has announced that there will be no further cuts to migration numbers. However, the Govt. will focus on how to encourage migrants to move to the regional areas.
Julian Leeser, Liberal MP, said that Australia’s quality of life depends on solving the challenge of how to better redistribute Australia’s migrant population. The immigrant population in Australia will increase by 25% to 31.4 million in the next 15 years, as quoted by The Guardian.
Mr Leeser says that most of the population growth is expected in major cities like Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane. The Govt. is not looking to make any further reductions in the immigration intake. However, the permanent visas places will be capped at 160,000 per year.
Mr Leeser also adds that it is not about how many people should be in the country. The bigger question is that where should all these people go. He says that the Govt. is trying to formulate policies which will encourage the immigrant population to move to regional areas. The goal of the Govt is to currently encourage more people to move to regional areas to address the skill shortages in these areas.
The Coalition Govt. has been focusing on pushing more people to the regional areas. However, many critics have raised concerns that the regional visa push is not workable.
A report by Infrastructure Australia found that it will cost $40 billion in annual infrastructure to cope with future population growth. The population in Australia is forecasted to grow to 31.4 million by 2034. The report points out that most cities are not equipped to handle the current rate of population growth.
Mr Leeser says that people of his electorate often complain that there are too many people in Sydney. However, even though these people agree with the annual cap on migration numbers, they also believe that more people should move to regional Australia. Many jobs go unfilled in regional Australia due to a shortage of labour.
Mr Leeser also adds that regional areas in Australia offer a high quality of life. There are many opportunities available in regional areas. Plus, the cost of living is much lower and getting around is much easier in the regional areas.
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