Australia will reduce the influx of immigrants from the current 190,000 per year to 160,000, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison. He has announced additional measures to encourage movements from large cities to the countryside. This will serve to encourage the repopulation of these areas.
New visa categories
Also, Morrison has announced new categories of visas. This will force 23,000 skilled migrants to work at least three years in rural areas before they can apply for permanent residence. Also, will offer international students agreements to study outside the big cities.
The Government assures that these measures will help alleviate the pressure on big cities.
The announcement of reducing the influx of immigrants comes just days after an attack by an Australian on two mosques in the New Zealand.
Morrison has been criticized for the timing of the ad, but has responded by assuring that he feels a “great frustration”.
“This is a practical problem that Australians want to solve, and that migrant communities also want to solve,” Morrison said. The areas for the 23,000 visas are outside Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Australia holds general elections in May and the congestion of large cities is one of the major concerns of voters. The immigration is a burning issue, especially for the current Conservative Government.
Polls published so far place Morrison’s conservative party behind the Labour opposition.
Australia has a population of about 25 million people, but in recent years it has been concentrated in the large coastal cities.
- Nearly two-thirds of the population live in Sydney and Melbourne.
- Three million in Brisbane an the Gold Coast region
- Two million in Perth.
Experts in demography point out that one of the causes is the increase in international students. There are more than half a million each year, who contribute to the GDP with some 15,000 million euros annually and make education the third largest sector in the country.
Finally, 20% of immigrants arriving in Australia come from India, 15% from China and 9% from the UK, according to the latest government data.