2 Dec 2015
A new report was released today from the Migration Council Australia titled, “A Policy Agenda for Migration and Development in Australia”.
Henry Sherrell, acting CEO of the Migration Council Australia said, “Australia can be rightly proud of our recent immigration history. Skilled, family and humanitarian migration contribute to Australian society and help support the economy. However more can be done with our migration policies to better help our Pacific neighbours.”
“Migration opportunities from the Pacific to Australia can be a triple win: for the migrants themselves, for their home countries and for all Australians. In addition, migration is not a substitute for existing aid funding but a complement. Pacific citizens can earn between four to ten times more income in Australian industries like the horticultural sector than in their home countries.”
From 2000 to 2010, less than 0.5 per cent of all permanent residency visas in Australia were granted to citizens from the Pacific.
Mr Sherrell said, “This report is designed to generate interest in new ideas. Working out how to further improve the Seasonal Worker Program, creating new visa pathways and bringing down the cost of remittances can each assist as complements in fostering economic development in the Pacific.”
The report outlines three potential new visa pathways.
- A permanent visa lottery for Pacific citizens, similar to those that already exist in New Zealand and the United States;
- Improving youth mobility between Pacific countries and Australia; and,
- Examining the potential for how migration could assist with post-natural disaster environments in the Pacific.
The Migration Council Australia notes the positive recent changes undertaken by the Government to the Seasonal Worker Program and commends the Opposition for their long interest in the Pacific.
The report is available here
MEDIA CONTACT: MCA Acting CEO, Henry Sherrell 042 331 5250