13 Nov 2015
The Migration Council Australia commends the Productivity Commission draft report released today, ‘Migrant Intake into Australia’.
Henry Sherrell, acting CEO of the Migration Council Australia said, “the draft report from the Productivity Commission reaffirms our migration framework successfully underpins economic and social outcomes in Australia. The draft report makes a number of important findings and provides an excellent basis for a factual public discussion about Australia’s immigration policy”.
Of particular importance is the finding that ‘the immigration system is not well suited to a price-based approach’. The use of extravagant fees and charges would fundamentally change what migration to Australia is about and undermine public support for migration.
Mr Sherrell said, “the Commission notes migrants already pay substantial visa fees and the Council strongly supports the call for establishing a more ‘systematic and transparent framework for visa charging’”.
The draft report also finds migration to Australia has a substantial per capita economic effect. Based on current migration and economic trends, per capita GDP growth is expected to 50 per cent higher in 2060 than today. This is eight points higher than an alternative scenario without migration growth. This finding largely mirrors the Migration Council Australia’s report from earlier this year, ‘the Economic Impact of Migration’.
The Migration Council Australia notes the draft report finds little value in the current investment visa approach. Mr Sherrell said, “If investment class visas do not provide any underlying economic benefit, as the Productivity Commission finds, there is a legitimate question as to whether they should remain part of Australia’s migration framework.”
There remains more do to. Recent migrants tend to be overqualified in the labour market, creating a substantial opportunity cost.
The Migration Council Australia strongly supports the call for improving the effectiveness of settlement services, particularly with reference to employment outcomes and language proficiency.
This should not be restricted to humanitarian migrants.
The Migration Council Australia will provide a written submission to the Productivity Commission and looks forward to the final report, due for release in March 2016.
MEDIA CONTACT: MCA Acting CEO, Henry Sherrell 042 331 5250