We know Australia’s population is growing faster than almost every other developed country and more than half our population growth of almost 400,000 people each year is coming from immigration.
While we need to keep our immigration levels up to keep greasing the wheels of industry and help our economy grow, in part by replacing the retiring Baby Boomers , there are many people against our migration policies.
One of their arguments is they are clogging our already full cities and pushing up property prices.
Recently the Australian government has launched its new visa scheme aimed at luring more migrants to rural areas.
But will this work.
Do migrants want to move to regional Australia and will the stay there?
To answer these questions let’s have a chat with Australia’s leading housing economist, Dr Andrew Wilson, chief economist of MyHousingMarket.com.au
Watch as we discuss:
The new Regional Migration Visa
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The two new regional visas that came into effect in November opening the door for skilled migrants to obtain permanent residence and eventually, citizenship.
Qualified migrants who commit to living and working in a regional area will have access to two new provisional visas.
The list includes hundreds of occupations.
Now, real estate agents, journalists, accountants, paramedics, filmmakers, historians, among others, will be able to apply for this visa.
Those who obtain regional visas will be able to apply for permanent residency if they prove they have lived in a regional area for at least three years.
And the term “regional” is very broad – it means everywhere other than Melbourne Sydney and Brisbane - so you can live on the Gold Coast, Geelong or Adelaide.
We also explain...
- This has been tried before and haSn't really worked, so why should it work this time?
- Sure we have more migrants wanting to come to Australia because of jobs, but in general they are from SE Asia - China and India and if they are skilled (the type of skills we need ) they have other options including NZ and Canada and parts of Europe. We need to make it attractive for them to come to Australia
- We need skilled migrants to make up for the retiring baby boomers.
- Migrants come for jobs and most of these jobs are in the 3 big capital cities.
- Coming to a foreign country these migrants initially want to move to locations where others from their community live - certain suburbs in our capital cities.
- Many of these migrants are used to and expect to live in high density accomodation in a big city - not in country towns
- Recently ANU researchers find newer migrant groups are even more likely to abandon regions
The bottom line
Over four decades, country towns have mostly failed to retain migrants, according to the most comprehensive snapshot of Australian migration ever collated.
And this trend of migrants moving to the cities appears to be increasing, despite repeated government efforts to make life in the regions more appealing.