In a bid to lure migrants from cities, a new scheme has come into play where skilled workers will be able to apply for permanent residency if they live and work in regional areas for three years.
The new approach to immigration was outlined by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Immigration Minister David Coleman, who said that population was a “key component” to Australia’s economy. They stated that there will be 23,000 extra regional visa spots, requiring skilled workers to live and work in regional Australia for three years before they can apply for permanent residency. This employer-nominated stream of the visa will have 9000 places, while the state and territory-nominated scheme will have 14,000 spots.
For the next 4 years, the government is cutting the annual migration ceiling from 190,000 to 160,000 places in lieu of this new approach. The reduction is not expected to impact the federal budget.
PM Morrison felt that while Australia had thrived from steady population growth, for the past two decades infrastructure and services have struggled to keep pace. Due to the fact that the vast majority of migrants had settled in the capital cities, there has been significant pressure on roads and public transport. “The task at hand (is) to make Australia’s cities and towns even better places to live,” Mr Morrison said.