There have been talks in Australia about decentralizing the Overseas Immigration. Population Minister Alan Tudge insists that new migrants should be sent to regions outside the major cities. The visa conditions should be modified accordingly. However, Australia has been seeking to do the same for 100 years without much success.
The first hope – Bonegilla:
After World War II, tons of migrants came to Australia from war-torn Europe. Most of them passed through Bonegilla in Victoria. It is said that one in 20 Australians is descended from someone who came through this place. That explains why Bonegilla is Australia’s Immigration moment.
According to ABC News, it could not achieve much success in decentralizing the Immigration. Over 300,000 Immigrants passed through this area. But very less number of people actually stayed in the area.
One of the first families moving into Bonegilla was Doina Eitler’s. According to her, they managed to get jobs in the country town and stayed there. Moreover, people trusted them in the area. That has been a major factor in deciding to inhabit that region.
However, the majority of those Immigrants eventually found their way to the main cities after the two-year contract. This further diminished Australia’s hope of decentralizing Overseas Immigration.
Abul Rizvi, a senior official in the Department of Immigration has expressed his views on this initiative. He had spent two decades in the department. He said that Overseas Immigration has transformed Australia in terms of skills and ethnic composition. He doesn’t agree with the idea of forcing new Immigrants to the regions outside the major cities.
He further added that since the ’90s, the Australian Government has been encouraging Immigrants to move to regional locations. Initially, Immigrants stay in those areas. However, they move on to the cities after a certain period of time.
Mr. Rizvi believes there should be enough opportunities in those regions to keep Immigrants there. Otherwise, this policy of decentralizing Overseas Immigration would never work.
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