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One in ten foreign workers moving from regions to cities within 18 months

Luke Grant

With the immigration debate now featuring prominently on the national agenda, questions around decentralisation and population distribution have now materialised.

One in ten foreign workers reportedly move from country areas to highly populated city spaces within 18 months, effectively using regional communities as a de facto pit stop.

With this placing considerable pressure on our already overpopulated cities, debate about how to incentivise migrants to stay in regional areas is now being discussed. Malcolm Turnbull is treading down a similar path, vowing to strengthen rules that would require new migrants to fill regional skill shortages.

Economist Leith Van Onselen says it’s hard and often”unrealistic” to force migrants to remain in regional areas, though the Home Affairs office was reportedly trying to find ways to do so in May.

“I think it’s actually pretty hard, because the Australian constitution doesn’t allow you to lock down a permanent resident in a specific area,” says Van Onselen.

“What we do know from the census in the five years to 2016, is I think it was around 88 percent of migrants actually do come to the major cities and very few of them actually stay in the regional areas.”

“But the bigger issue again is the immigration level is just simply too high.”

“I think (the decentralisation debate) is still a bit of a diversionary tactic away from looking at the big issue of migrant intake, which is still massively turbocharged and way too high.”

 

 

 

 

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Luke Grant
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