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BANGKOK 20 May 2019 03:19

Australia cuts annual immigrant cap 15 percent, puts key cities off-limits to some

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Australia cuts annual immigrant cap 15 percent, puts key cities off-limits to some

By Colin Packham



FILE PHOTO: Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during the INPEX Gala Dinner in Darwin, Australia November 16, 2018. David Moir/Pool via REUTERS


SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia on Wednesday cut its annual intake of immigrants by nearly 15 percent, and barred some new arrivals from living in its largest cities for three years, in a bid to ease urban congestion.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison - who is trailing badly in the polls ahead of a federal election in May - hopes to tap into rising voter frustration over house prices and congestion, which some see as a consequence of population growth.


"This is a practical problem that Australians wanted addressed," Morrison told reporters in Canberra, the capital, after announcing the annual immigration intake would be cut to 160,000 people, from 190,000 previously.


The immigration policy change comes at a time of national reflection over Australia's attitude towards migrants after the shooting of at least 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand's city of Christchurch.


Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday after a lone gunman opened fire at the two mosques during Friday prayers.


"My great frustration is that, in addressing these issues of population and immigration programs, these debates often get hijacked by those of competing views who seek to exploit them for other causes," Morrison added.


"I reject all of that absolutely."


A ReachTel poll published in September showed that 63 percent of Sydney residents supported curbs on the number of migrants moving to Australia's biggest city.


Morrison said the cap would include places for up to 23,000 people who could migrate to Australia under a new skilled visa.


Such arrivals could gain permanent residency after living outside of Australia's largest cities for three years, he added.


They will be barred from living in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney or the Gold Coast, where infrastructure is overutilised, said immigration minister David Coleman.


Authorities will require proof of residential and work addresses in future applications for permanent residency, he added, as a way of enforcing the requirement.


(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)



-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-03-20

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8 minutes ago, toenail said:

-Interesting strategy or thought ( I am not disagreeing or agreeing) The problem to me in the 21st Century is when immigrants do not want to conform / accept the culture of the country they have chosen to live in. This does not mean they have to give up their religion or wearing a hijab or own customs, but to make an effort to learn the local language and accept the country’s democratic beliefs. The parents may not be fully submerged into their new “homeland” but it is important for their children to feel like citizens of the country they are growing up in. Many of us Westerners have seen the advantages and creativeness of diversity in a city and many of our ancestors were once immigrants. 

I recall when the Italian, Greek and Vietnamese immigrants were accused of living in conclaves/ghettos when they first arrived, but a few into their stay here they moved out and developed many areas where Australian born people did not want to live, these are some very desirable areas in our major cities.

I guess if restricting new arrivals from high population areas the chances of quicker community involvement is higher.

I hope before this occurs though that Federal Government has sufficient funding to improve regional /rural infrastructure for housing/ health/education and WATER, in the regions they insist that the new arrivals inhabit.

This will also have to include training for support services, as well language skills, and the ability to utilise they varied skills the new arrivals will have.

We already have way too many university educated persons from immigrant backgrounds driving public transport, because their qualifications are fully recognised here and they are unable to under further education and training to utilise the training and skills they acquired overseas.

ScoMo floated this thought many years ago when he was Immigration Minister, but it was unable to grow legs back then, I hope this is NOT being floated again as dogwhistle politics to appease the right wing factions. 



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12 minutes ago, brokenbone said:

get a hint NZ

Agree. NZ does not have the infrastructure for the amount of immigration, and it should be limited if not stopped altogether till the infrastructure has improved. Not so long ago water restrictions were imposed because too many people have arrived. The housing/ rental prices are appalling now. The traffic is atrocious

At most, workers for the fruit industry allowed only during picking season.

As for the OP, why only 3 years? Should be permanent, unless they become citizens.

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1 minute ago, sonos99 said:

You are of course quite right

NZ should immediately ban all white supremacist terrorists and mass murders



Especially those travelling on Australian passports

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1 minute ago, car720 said:

nobody is even mentioning the fact that there are no jobs for citizens let alone anyone else and that is in the cities.  In the bush it is worse.  Where is the common sense.  They are not allowed to get the dole for four years.

Hanson P will tell you plenty of jobs, people are just too lazy to work

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