The Government is ensuring the views of state and territory governments are heard on the important issue of migration planning, with the annual consultation process starting for the 2019–20 migration program.
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman has written to state and territory leaders seeking their input on the size and make-up of Australia’s migration intake.
This follows the Prime Minister’s letter to state and territory leaders around population and his discussion with them at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Adelaide.
Mr Coleman said the Government is committed to maximising the economic outcomes of immigration, particularly skilled migration, while also considering the long-term population impacts on state and territory planning and infrastructure.
“The Commonwealth undertakes comprehensive consultation each year to inform the make-up of the migration program. We seek expert advice from a range of key stakeholders, including the business sector, states and territories and the public,” he said.
Along with seeking input from state and territory governments, which is due by 31 January 2019, consultation includes the release of a discussion paper to encourage input and views from the Australian public.
The Department of Home Affairs will also consult with representatives from academia, industry and community organisations, who will provide expert advice on how Australia can best benefit from immigration in the coming year.
The size and composition of the Migration Program will also be informed by broad whole-of-government engagement across the Federal Government.
The permanent Migration Program planning levels are a ceiling and not a target and represent the number of permanent visas which may be granted in a program year across three different streams: Skill stream, Family stream and Special Eligibility stream. The Migration Program has been set at a ceiling of 190,000 places since 2012–13.
Australia granted 162,417 permanent visas last program year, which is less than the ceiling. The department processes visas up to the ceiling and does not compromise on eligibility requirements to increase the number of visas granted.
The discussion paper is available on the Department of Home Affairs website: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/reports-and-publications/submissions-and-discussion-papers