Business sector hits out an election pledge to cut immigration to Oz

by Ray Clancy on August 16, 2010

Hundreds of thousand of skilled workers will be needed for new jobs in Australia in the next few years but pledges to cut immigration by both main political parties in the run up to the general election is causing concern.

The opposition lead by Tony Abbott says it would cut the number of migrants by almost half from its current annual rate if it wins this month’s election.

While current Prime Minister Julia Gillard has also promised to reduce the number of foreigners working in the country to more ‘sustainable’ levels in response to increased anxiety by the Australian public on the pressure of population on public services.

Tony Burke, the minister for sustainable population, claims that migrant numbers have already been cut back to 230,000 and by the year 2011/12 they will be cut down to 145,000, much less than Tony Abbott’s predicted number. At the moment, immigration numbers stand at 300,000 per year.

Western Australia though in particular thinks such plans will impact on its ability to recruit skilled workers. James Pearson, chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia, said it is a shortsighted view.

‘Australia is a migrant based society. We’re one of the few parts of the developed world which really is crying out for new, skilled workers,’ he explained.

Pearson said the real danger to Western Australia, and the Australian economy more broadly, is that if jobs that are being created can’t be filled, then some projects will be delayed, some may not even go ahead and all of the knock on effects that ripple through the economy will therefore be lost.

Industry groups estimate that 500,000 new jobs will be created in Western Australia in the coming decade as the mining boom accelerates. But there are concerns that more than 200,000 positions across a range of sectors in Western Australia will remain vacant unless skilled workers can be sourced from overseas.

Other industries that are reporting a skills deficit include Australian agriculture, with a severe lack of agronomists, vets and farm managers, through to harvesting machinery operators and shearers.

The National Farmers’ Federation has estimated that Australia will need up to 100,000 additional workers over the next five years with the vast majority of jobs in the skilled or semi skilled category as agriculture becomes more technologically advanced.

Healthcare, engineering and construction professionals are also needed in many parts of the country and a number of job fairs are currently touring the UK looking for people who want to move.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

David Taylor August 26, 2010 at 12:15 am

Don't get excited. Australia is listed on the United States SEC. That means we are a commercial enterprise to the US. Consequently, every negative thing that comes out of the US, happens here. Over 900 billion dollars of debt, corrupt political leaders who serve their own interests, instead of the publics' and more. Basically Australia is a US state that like the US, is losing its FREEDOMS at an alarming rate. In addition, Australia is increasingly one of the most over regulated countries in the world. It works like this. If you want a job, many industries require you be licensed and a pay a fee for administering that, and or, pay for some type of insurance. This sh-t, came straight from the US. It's getting to the stage where if you want to have a sh-t in a public toilet, soon you'll have to fill in application form, submit it for approval, pay a fee, attend a safety seminar, and then pay the applicable insurance. It is simply ridiculous! Don't waste your time coming here unless you enjoy Totalitarianism, Police States and diminishing freedoms.

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