New Immigration Policy To Place Migrants In Regional Australia

The proposed plan is intended to ease congestion in major cities

What you need to know
  • Population Minister proposes that migrants should be placed in regional areas
  • The aim is to ease congestion in major cities
  • There are concerns as to how such visa conditions would be enforced

Federal Population Minister Alan Tudge wants to see new migrants move to regional Australia rather than major cities, under a new plan to be outlined later on Tuesday.

Overseas migration accounts for 60 per cent of Australia's population growth, with nearly 90 per cent of skilled workers gravitating to Melbourne and Sydney, as well as almost all of the humanitarian intake.

Mr Tudge wants to correct the "imbalance" by expanding the mix of geographical visa conditions and incentives imposed on new arrivals.

Speaking to ABC Breakfast on Tuesday morning, Tudge stated: “The key issue here is the distribution of the growth, rather than the growth number.” He added that: “If we had a better distribution of the growth, we wouldn’t have quite the same pressure that we have on Melbourne and Sydney, and south-east Queensland.”

Though Tudge claims smaller states such as South Australia are “crying out for more workers,” Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews says he is not in the business of telling people where to live but migration policy reform to that effect is a matter for Canberra.

While acknowledging migration policies are a matter for the federal government, Andrews said he was not on board with telling people where to reside. "I'm not about telling people where they should live, I'm about connecting people no matter where they live and building the infrastructure that is absolutely critical," Andrews told reporters.

Tudge’s initial announcement appears to lack detail as to how the government will enforce its visa conditions to ensure that migrants remain in regional areas. There are also concerns as to whether regional areas will have the infrastructure in place to provide opportunities for migrants to obtain quality education, housing and employment.

More details are expected at a press conference on Tuesday.

With AAP