Australia’s population is growing rapidly. There’s no denying the increase of migrants seeking to call Australia their home. The question that has been facing the Australian government is how to handle the continued growth in the most effective, safe, manner.
In a recent meeting held to better prepare for handling this influx, it was agreed that two working groups would begin work immediately to look at the data and regional aspects of the population debate.
Josh Frydenberg, Federal Treasurer, declared after a meeting on the subject, “It’s about data sharing, it’s about infrastructure, it’s about skills, it’s about population trends, and getting greater cooperation and coordination between state and federal governments”.
The Question of Where New Immigrants are Settling
The data surrounding this issue is showing that part of the strain of the population growth is due to focused immigration on too few destinations – namely, Australia’s biggest cities and states. New immigrants are descending upon capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne. Tension and division arise when the federal government is in charge of allowing immigrants into Australia and the State and territory governments have no say in it. The only choice these officials have is to try and work with what they are being given.
The largest pushback to the rise of immigration is the lack of infrastructure to support them. It’s a practical issue to be concerned about roads being able to take increased traffic, housing to be maintained for everyone, and schools to be able to harbour the increasing demand of new population growth.
Bill Shorten is one of the more outspoken Federal opposition leaders. He has been quoted as saying how bringing in more people to larger cities wouldn’t help if there is no infrastructure built up to handle them.
How the Australian Government Aims to Tackle the Issue?
The government is focused on this problem – and prepared to put money towards it. David Coleman, the Immigration minister, recently showed a 19.4-million-dollar plan that was designed to help regional areas that are more prepared (and needing) an influx of people.
The primary goal of the plan is to offer faster visa application approvals for those skilled immigrants that would move to the required regional areas. It would reduce the burden of overpopulation in the cities and would help improve more remote regions with increased skilled labourers. Areas like the Northern Territory, central and north-western New South Wales, and Cairns in northern Queensland are the primary focus for this plan.
There’s a doubt though that this new proposal will be an effective use of resources. The government in these re-location spots aren’t sure as to whether there would be proper funding to be able to support the growth. Jackie Trad, Queensland’s treasurer, is doubtful of the entire process. She believes the Federal Government needs to be more severe so that it is ‘less talk and more action.’
Her voiced concerns are those of many in this time of population growth. It has been demonstrated in the past that due to the federal government’s limited (or lack) of funds that no matter their re-routing of immigrants, the demand it places on states and territories will continue to be too large of a burden.