Return of international arrivals a partial release of the pressure valve

22 Nov 2021 |

Australia is set to welcome 200,000 skilled migrants, foreign students, working holiday makers and other existing visa holders without the need to apply for a travel exemption from the 1st of December.

“After more than 18 months of border closures, the relaxation of some restrictions today will accelerate Australia’s recovery, ensuring that businesses can take further steps to realise their economic potential,” Andrew McKellar, chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.

“The steps outlined by the Federal Government today are critical relief for all those businesses that are struggling due to border closures.

“The arrival of skilled migrants will be instrumental in addressing the critical skills shortages that are present across all sectors of the economy.  With worker shortages holding back the economy, businesses will be able to look to skilled migrants to fill job vacancies.

“Reopening to international students will be fundamental to securing Australia’s economic recovery.  Prior to the pandemic half a million international students were enrolled in our universities, contributing $40 billion to the economy.

“With our borders now open to working holiday makers, tourism, agricultural and hospitality businesses will also be beneficiaries of the changes announced today.

“The establishment of travel bubble arrangements with Japan and Korea, following similar arrangements with Singapore and New Zealand, is a lifeline for our tourism industry which has been flattened without overseas travellers.

“Now we have begun the process of welcoming international arrivals, we must open up to more visitors as soon as possible.  State and territory governments must commit to allow quarantine free travel for all fully vaccinated arrivals.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have seen businesses best positioned to recover when they have a firm commitment and clear timetable for the relaxation of restrictions.  The pressure is now on the state and territory governments to signal their intentions as soon as possible.

“ACCI will continue its advocacy and work with government to finalise a clear and comprehensive plan for new international arrivals, getting the country back to pre-pandemic levels and beyond.

Jack Quail

Media Officer

P  |  0498 181 207

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