Tuesday, 28 February 2023
Media release

Meeting of the Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration

The Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration (MACSM) met in Canberra today to discuss the Albanese Government’s migration reform agenda, including tackling migrant worker exploitation, the role of Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) and the significant reduction in the visa backlog.

This is the third MACSM held with the Immigration Minister, Andrew Giles, since the election of the Albanese Government with representatives from industry, civil society, and trade unions discussion the Government’s commitment to delivering migration reform in a tripartite manner. Deliberations will help inform the Government’s forthcoming Budget.

Attendees engaged in a productive and open discussion on important priorities, including the Government’s commitment to tackle migrant worker exploitation. The issue of migrant exploitation is hurting citizens and people on temporary visas alike- as well as most businesses – who are playing by the rules.

The Council acknowledged the important role JSA will play in supporting Australia’s visa system. It will be vital in informing Government decision making and helping to deliver a more responsive policy framework for the labour market.

Quotes attributable to Minister Giles:

“The Albanese Government recognises the solution to the skills crisis is not a simply a choice between skilled migration and training our local workforce. We have addressed the worst aspects of the previous Government’s visa backlog, but we understand much more remains to be done.

We will progress reform in a tripartite manner, working alongside industry and unions, to ensure Australia’s migration system is once again an asset for our country.”

Quotes attributable to Innes Willox AM, MACSM Chair:

“We had a productive discussion today about the reform priorities, including the soon to be completed migration review, which will help ensure the migration program continues to contribute positively to our community and economy.

“Progress towards clearing the visa processing backlog and reducing waiting times, as well as the increase in permanent skilled migration are welcome and essential to addressing serious and ongoing skills and labour shortages.”

Quote attributable to Michele O’Neil, MACSM Member:

“Our current migration system needs significant change. We look forward working with the Albanese Government to ensure the system is integrated with domestic skills development and workforce planning, while addressing migrant worker exploitation and rebalancing our system toward permanent migration.”