Planning Australia’s 2021-22 Migration Program
ACCI has sustained a strong involvement with migration policy over several years, providing a highly considered and evidence-based perspective on the business impacts of migration policy. ACCI has consistently emphasised that the needs of business and the broader community must form the pillars from which Australia’s migration program is built. This submission sets out the case in support of returning permanent migration to the planning cap of 190,000 places in the 2021-22 program year. The current crisis has reduced Australia’s migration program to a trickle in relation to off-shore applicants and substantially altered the composition of the program in relation to on-shore applicants. This has significant economic and fiscal consequences for Australia. The Government should seize every available opportunity to increase Australia’s permanent migration intake especially in the skilled migration area given, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our demography and population growth, due to very low Net Overseas Migration, particularly permanent migration. There is no doubt the economic and fiscal benefits arising from increased migration will contribute to Australia’s recovery in the post-pandemic environment. The submission also makes the case that regardless of the size of the cap, the proportion of migrants that are employer sponsored should remain proportionally high and as accessible as possible for both regional and urban Australian businesses. This is especially necessary in the recovery period when businesses will need access to experienced skilled migrants to fill the skills gap in a tough economic environment.