Australian Big Businesses Come Together to Oppose Migration Cuts
The policy document by the coalition warns about the economic and social effects of cutting the annual migration intake.
Some of Australia’s big business groups have joined forces with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), urging the Australian government to maintain the present levels of permanent migration intake, following calls for the rates to be slashed, the Australian reported.
The coalition includes top unions, employer organizations and ethnic lobby groups. The agreement will see the ACTU and United Voice, one of Australia’s most powerful unions, come together to sign a National Compact on Permanent Migration with Australia’s peak industry association, the Australian Industry Group.
The document cautions about the economic and social effects of cutting the annual migration intake from the current figure of 190,000. The policy document is led by the Australian Migration Council, signaling that the unions and employer groups have reached a consensus that temporary skilled migration may be subjected to stringent monitoring, but no cuts.
The country had a history of permanent migration for most of the 20th century, ACTU secretary Sally McManus said. “That system was predicated on civic inclusion as an Australian ideal — the idea that if you lived and worked in Australia, paid taxes and abided by the law, you should also get a say in the content of those laws, as well as the chance at full participation in our social, economic and political life,” McManus was quoted as saying by the Australian.
The 10-point policy document states that Australia’s permanent migration program is significant for the Australian society as well as its economy. It emphasizes that the key elements of the migration program, which includes having English language skills, and evidence-based skill, among others, are non-discriminatory.
“This historic national compact brings together civil society, business and our union movement in shared tripartite commitment to migration as part of Australia’s future,” the document states, as per the Australian.
The signatories to the alliance are the Migration Council of Australia, the Australian Council of Social Service, the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia, the Settlement Council of Australia and Welcome to Australia, a migration lobby group.
“Migration has been central to our nation-building story and the national compact creates a platform to build consensus around the importance of migration to Australia’s future,” Carla Wilshire, the chief executive of the Migration Council, who organized the agreement, said, according to the report.
Wilshire added that the signatories of the contract want the immigration level to be at 190,000. “We need to move back to system where we have a target of 190,000 places and we hit that target, because it’s critically important to business confidence, to job creation, to growth, that we have confidence in how our migration program is going to play out over the budgetary year,” Wilshire said, SBS News reported.
According to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on April 24, overseas migration is driving the population growth in Australian cities like Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. These cities made up for more than 70 per cent of Australia’s population growth in 2017.