Australia considers banning immigrants from settling in major cities

Sergio Conner
October 12, 2018

The policy is meant to reduce overcrowding in the two largest cities of Australia, and simultaneously enhance other regions, said Tuesday the Minister of population in the country Alan Taj, reports the BBC.

A Shorten government would set up a new independent body, he said, to investigate which industries had true labour shortages.

Starting a new life in Australia might not come with views of the Sydney Opera House or surfing at the city's Bondi Beach with the government considering a ban on some immigrants from settling in big cities.

The new visa condition would apply to about 45 percent of the total migrant intake-notably, migrants not bound to settling in a particular location.

Scott Morrison's newly appointed "congestion-busting" minister for population and cities, Alan Tudge, announced the plan at a speech in Melbourne on Tuesday.

There are now no limits on where individuals can settle after they receive a skilled migrant visa.

Migrants who were sponsored by employers would be able to work where employers need them, and those on family reunion visas - typically a foreigner marrying an Australian - would also be free to live where they chose.

Mr Tudge says some parts of the country are "crying out for more people".

"Migrants will gravitate to opportunities and amenities in cities", he tweeted Tuesday.

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"This is a serious problem in Melbourne, Sydney and South East Queensland particularly, which the Coalition Government is rapidly addressing".

It's not clear if the plan would survive a legal challenge.

"People are voting with their feet, they want to be in cities and so I think the job for government is to ensure that cities work and that people can get around rather than to try to get people to go where they don't want to go", Ms Terrill said.

"I'm not sure its legally viable", the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

In case you are planning to move to Australia and have been dreaming of living in Sydney and strolling along the Bondi beach or visiting the numerous cafes and markets in Melbourne, this government proposal may just rain on your parade.

There are also questions about the business impact in big cities, where job creation is outstripped migration, said James Pearson, CEO of the Australian Chamber of Business and Industry.

Sydney and its surrounds need to slash immigration by half to counter worsening congestion in Australia's most populous state, politicians said Wednesday.

He said there needed to be "controlled population growth" and flagged future announcements on high-speed train lines "early next year".

"We've had 27 years without a recession". Previous year alone it increased by 1.6%.

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