Business grasps the reality of the debate on Migration

07 Aug 2018 |

Skilled migration is a critical element in supporting economic growth and business is absolutely up for the debate about its contribution to delivering benefits to all Australians, said the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry today, in response to an address by Minister Tudge.

“The Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Alan Tudge, has today made a thoughtful contribution to the important current debate on migration and population,” said Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson.

“He has challenged business to grasp the reality of the debate, and we are willing to respond.”

“Our major concern is not whether there should be a debate, but that the government has severely limited both permanent and temporary employer-sponsored migration over the past 18 months before there has been a chance to properly debate the way forward.”

“Employer-sponsored migration streams hold the best opportunity to look at how we can encourage migrants to settle in our regions.

“The Australian Chamber has been involved in detailed discussions with government about occupations that should be available to regional employers, to sponsor the skilled migrants they desperately need to grow,” Mr Pearson said.

“Strong long-term settlement outcomes in the regions comes from supporting employment growth, and enabling businesses to get the skills they need.

“We need to support industries, such as those that deliver regional tourism services, to create more economic opportunities and skilled jobs for Australians, supplemented by migration when needed.”

“As for the Sydney/Melbourne-centric discussion, this is not a migration problem but an infrastructure one.

“Global cities in advanced economies throughout the world are often much larger than Sydney and Melbourne,” Mr Pearson said.

“The debate on migration and population has to include what is Australia’s vision for itself: do we want to be a declining economic power or one of the bigger players with influence?

“In sport, we want to play on the world stage and win. If we want to hold our own in the increasingly competitive and rapidly changing global marketplace, we need a well-managed migration program to help our economy to adapt and grow.

“Let us have that debate, but in the meantime, government should support migration settings that promote economic growth.”

Emily Kennelly

Adviser - Public Affairs & Advocacy

P  |  0438 730 772

E  |  [email protected]

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