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Anthony Albanese’s government set to open the floodgates to more than 300,000 migrants

More than 300,000 migrants are about to arrive in Australia – putting even more pressure on housing, hospitals and schools

  • Jim Chalmers admitted the forecast of 235,000 migrants was wrong
  • The true figure could dwarf that number and be more than 300,000
  • The government has been working to cut down the huge visa backlog 

Anthony Albanese’s government is set to welcome 300,000 migrants to Australia this year – raising fears of increased pressure on housing, hospitals and schools. 

Treasurer Jim Chalmers admitted the forecast of 235,000 migrants made in October’s budget is likely to be dwarfed as high labour shortages entice foreign workers to the country. 

The government has also been working to cut down the huge visa backlog – making the country even more appealing to migrants.

It has announced an increase in the number of places available for skilled migrants, the number of places in the Skilled Stream rising from 79,600 to 142,400.

It will prioritise processing for skilled visa applications through 2023 and also introduced post-study work rights and unlimited work hours for international students.

Dr Chalmers said on Monday: ‘It is a reasonable assumption the number that’s printed in the budget for [2022-23] may be higher than 235,000.

‘We’ve got serious skills shortages and labour shortages in our economy that are acting as a handbrake.’

Angela Knox, Associate Professor of Work and Organisation at Sydney University, told Daily Mail Australia that the influx of migrants could cause serious short term problems.  

The government has also been working to cut down the huge visa backlog – making the country even more appealing to migrants

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‘In the short term, it would put additional pressure on housing and schools and hospitals, which are already struggling,’ she explained. 

She also suggested that the total number of migrants could exceed 300,000 – but warned the government would need to be mindful of the local labour market. 

‘The government are conscious of the tension between the domestic labour market and the introduction of any migrant workers and the consequences that that might have. 

‘The government is also relatedly very conscious that it is not using temporary migrant workers as a substitute for skill development and training needs in the local labour market. 

‘So they will monitor what’s happening very closely and make adjustments on that basis.’  

Dr Knox also warned that the government would need to ensure the current visa backlog is tackled. 

‘It will be really important to ensure that there are sufficient staff and workflows in place to enable efficient visas, issuing visas. We don’t want that backlog to be further exacerbated. 

‘So there will be a response that’s required in order to ensure that is an efficient process.’ 

However, she also said that increased numbers of migrants could eventually end up tackling the problem. 

A total of 365,900 temporary visa holders left the country between 2019 and 2021 after then-prime minister Scott Morrison told them to leave

A total of 365,900 temporary visa holders left the country between 2019 and 2021 after then-prime minister Scott Morrison told them to leave

‘Those problems are already occurring, and we need to take action in order to resolve them,’ she said. 

‘And one way in which we can do that in a very immediate sense is by bringing in temporary migrants, so it is a way in which we can address the existing problems that we have.’

Immigration expert and former Immigration Department deputy secretary Abul Rizvi  said the 300,000 migrants this financial year would be driven by a spike in visa applications for international students in 2022, and a large excess of visitors .

‘The excess of visitor arrivals, minus the number departing, is the biggest difference we’ve ever had,’ Mr Rizvi told the AFR.

A total of 365,900 temporary visa holders left the country between 2019 and 2021 after then-prime minister Scott Morrison told them to leave.

Some 220,000 temporary visa holders have come into the country since the start of 2022 with applications to be processed.

There is a backlog of 872,000 visa applications yet to be approved by the government and another 2.22 million that have been made since June 1.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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