Migration works for all of us

11 Dec 2018 |

Australia’s largest and most representative business network has called on political leaders to recognise the benefits that a strong migration program delivers to all Australians in a major policy launch today.

“The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry believes there needs to be a greater focus in the current debate on the significant benefits that migration delivers to all Australians,” Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson, said.

“Our policy makes the case that migration is a positive contributor to our country, and Australia’s particular approach to migration has delivered us a comparative advantage.”

“The emphasis on younger, skilled migrants and the mixture of temporary migrants including skilled, working holidaymakers and students, and a cap on permanent migrants of 190,000 a year, has all added up to a stronger-than-average outcome from migration.

“The erosion of this comparative advantage over the past two years is very worrying.

“Policymakers are overlooking the benefits, and have become caught up in constricting temporary skilled migration and feeding perceptions that migration is a cause of congestion in Sydney and Melbourne.

“Employers across the country are deeply concerned this week’s COAG meeting may suggest the States and Territories cut back on migration because of infrastructure shortfalls.

“That would be letting the tail wag the dog.

“Politicians would never tell people to stop growing their businesses and employing more people because of strains on infrastructure, so they should not do so for migration.”

The Australian Chamber’s Migration Works for All of Us policy position makes two important recommendations:
1. Federal, State and Territory Governments – All policies relevant to population and migration should be informed by principles that include recognition of the comparative advantage delivered by migration and reflect an understanding that a growing Australia is good for all of us.
2. That the Federal Government make changes to the migration program to improve its accessibility and responsiveness in order to better meet skill and labour needs. These changes should include access to all skilled occupations for employer nominated migration, ensure visa fees and charges are internationally competitive, set the cap for permanent migration based on evidence of economic benefit, and improve the processing times and affordability of the program.

“The Australian business community is sending a clear message, backed by evidence, that migration works for all of us.”

A link to the Australian Chamber’s Migration Works for All of Us policy, including the full set of recommendations, can be found here: http://bit.ly/Migrationworksforallofus

Duncan Bremner

Director - Public Affairs and Advocacy

P  |  0448 822 666

E  |  [email protected]

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