Australia would have to simplify visa system to boost its immigration intake

November 14th, 2007 - 10:17 am ICT by admin  
Despite more than 770 people flooding into Western Australia state each week, a report by the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry found the influx of workers from overseas and interstate was well short of demand, severely limiting the state’s growth.

At least 400,000 additional workers will be needed in Western Australia over the next 10 years if the state is to reap the full benefits of the economic boom.

According to The Australian, the government in the state has recommended major changes in areas ranging from federal immigration policy and tax to training up older workers and the long-term unemployed.

CCI chief John Langoulant said WA did not have enough workers to service the 100 billion dollar investment already in the pipeline, and the situation would worsen because of the ageing of the population.

The report called for a raft of urgent measures, including increasing Australia’s permanent immigration intake, simplifying 457 visas, extending temporary migration programs, lowering income tax rates to increase the incentive to work, and allowing childcare to be salary-sacrificed.

It said overseas migrants accounted for more than 85 per cent of the new workers coming to Western Australia, dispelling claims that huge numbers of workers had been sourced from other states.

The 120-page report said that since the current phase of economic expansion started six years ago, almost 200,000 new jobs had been created in Western Australia.

If the same growth rate were to be maintained, another 400,000 workers would be needed over 10 years.

It said both the number of migrants and the weighting towards skilled migrants needed to be expanded.

It said Western Australia accounted for just 13 per cent of primary applicant grants under those schemes in 2006-07, compared with South Australia (58 per cent) and Victoria (17 per cent). (ANI)

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