In Scott Morrison’s first Council of Australian Government (COAG) meeting with the territory and state leaders, he placed so much emphasis on population growth thus impressing the council members, although not the way the Prime Minister had imagined it.
He had started off his first meeting with the hopes that he will gain full support for reducing the rate of migration to Australia and controlling the allocation of settlements for Immigrants. The Australian Government has planned to reduce the migration cap from 190,000 to 160,000 due to the rising pressure on available social infrastructure and the congested state of areas like Melbourne and Sydney.
Last year, under the present government, almost 162,500 people were admitted to Australia. In a presentation by an expert on population, Prof Peter McDonald, First Ministers and Premiers were informed that the country’s current migration rate was needed and that it was almost impossible to restrict settlement locations for Immigrants to specific areas. With these matters on board, no definite conclusion was made.
Scott Morrison said in a press conference that it was a good thing that the matter has been raised and is being deliberated. He mentioned that the issue still remains on the table and when it comes to decisions to be made concerning immigration, the one significant and pressing decision at hand is that of choosing what the annual intake cap would be for 2019/2020. He after that noted that the yearly intake cap is usually decided in the budget, so he wants States and territories to supply input and frame the intake for next year.
The Opinion of the Premiers
The Premier for Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk remarked that from McDonald’s presentation, she was glad he suggested that more Immigrants should be allocated to regional centers so that the States can be decentralized. She also took note of his remark that with the current natality rate of 1.8 births per family, and other factors being considered, Australia needs skills from within and without.
The chief minister of ACT, Andrew Barr made a significant contribution to the importance of maintaining a strong immigration program in Australia. He said that an excellent Immigration Program would be helpful to the cultural, economic and social growth of the nation. He also said that the nation needs more people to improve her economy and also expand its cultural and social base. He added that the capital state will always be open to Refugees and will welcome Refugees and international students because of their significant impact on society.
However, the pending issue has been avoided, and the chances of changing the next migration cap in the April budget is very slim.
The agreement was made to manage infrastructure along with the rate of growth of the population, and Daniel Andrews, the Victorian Premier said that the two issues could be considered as one.
The Premier of South Australia, Steven Marshall, said that every state has a different approach to handling population issues. He then suggested a collaborative effort towards a great and positive strategy that will ensure the population of Australia grows in the necessary places.
In the next treasurer’s meeting, one of the matters arising would be the how the new migration cap would run and where the areas where the new immigrants would be sent to.
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