Regional towns to be declared priorities for migrants

June 08, 2018

Parts of regional Australia could be declared priority rural migration areas under a plan to boost shrinking agricultural communities. The Conservative Party has expressed qualified support for the idea.

The  Advertiser reports, the Regional Australia Institute has proposed a “matchmaking” scheme to connect foreign workers with rural employers who need more staff in a bid to pump up to 3000 more migrants into the bush each year.

In a landmark report, the Regional Australia Institute has warned that action is needed to ensure that the population of 75 of the Australia’s 166 agriculture, forestry and fishing “heartlands” do not decline.

It recommends a new approach to migration policy, which identifies areas outside the major cities with worker shortages.

Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge said last week that some of the regions were “absolutely desperate” for workers, but cities faced more congestion than was planned for.

Senator Bernardi says the migrant mix needs to be fixed first.

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