Australia’s obsession with population growth has finally been addressed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. As the number of people living in Australia surpassed 25 million, it was said that their way of life would be under threat unless the immigration rate was reduced.
However, Mr. Morrison revealed in an exclusive interview with news.com.au that he doesn’t buy this theory. Temporary migration and natural population growth are far more significant factors in this case. He believes that there is no foundation in this idea that permanent immigration intake is fuelling population growth in Australia.
The numbers are in support of him since the Bureau of Statistics revealed that the country’s population grew by 1.6 percent in 2017. 38 percent of that came from the natural increase category whereas temporary migrants easily outnumbered permanent migrants.
Another point Mr. Morrison pressed was that having low levels of population growth with no helpful effect on the country’s economy is futile. Instead, if the population growth is mostly skills based and focused on regional areas, it can be easily absorbed.
The fundamental problem for the government lies in the fact that most immigrants want to live in the biggest cities. The ABS statistics showed that about two-thirds of net migration figure from 2017 went to Sydney and Melbourne. Mr. Morrison signalled that the Government is planning to take initiatives to place some restrictions on temporary visas or reward temporary migrants who move to regional areas. However, it cannot be dictated where permanent migrants get to live.
Even though reducing the immigration rate is the simplest solution, Mr. Morrison believes that the real key to the issue is better planning. He had a meeting with city mayors and they talked about projects that can help the situation. While talking to news.com.au, he further added that the plan is about shaping all the cities into the future.
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