Migrants to call regional Australia home under Government's new population plan

  • Migrants to call regional Australia home under Government's new population plan

Migrants to call regional Australia home under Government's new population plan

Emigrants who want to settle in Australia may soon be turned away, as major cities, Sydney and Melbourne are experiencing rapid population growth.

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

Currently, the influx of migrants arriving in Australia is equivalent to one person landing per minute, and this has caused a major backlash for its most popular cities. Around 2 in every 5 Australians live in Sydney and Melbourne alone.

Under the changes, migrants will be forced to live outside Sydney, Melbourne and South East Queensland for up to five years under restricted visas.

Tudge would not say how immigrants might be punished if they strayed from where they were supposed to live or whether they might be deported.

Australia has the fastest population growth of any advanced Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development country other than Canada, growing 1.6% a year. "We haven't announced all of the details of exactly how to do that, but it's reasonably straightforward", Mr Tudge said.

The main factor, in Sydney and Melbourne, is net overseas migration, that accounted for 60 percent of national population growth over the last 10 years. But the population of Melbourne grew past year by 2.7 percent, the population of the southeast corner of Queensland state around Brisbane and the Gold Coast grew by 2.3 percent, and Sydney grew by 2.1 percent.

Tudge said some categories of immigrants would be exempt from geographic blocks.

He added that these steps may especially affect those who are not sponsored to work in one of the major cities by an employer, or are granted visas to join their families.

About 150,000 permanent migrants deemed to have skills that Australia needs are...

Tudge went on to outline the final element of the government's plan, which is to introduce a better population planning framework so that federal and state levels of government can better work together to avoid problems triggered by a boom in population, such as lack of school places or insufficient transport services.

Get the Monitor Stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

This story was reported by The Associated Press.