Regional communities step up to lead local migration efforts
The Rural Migration Initiative (RMI) took its first step forward today in Canberra, following a meeting of representatives from regions across Australia who are keen to tackle workforce shortages and population decline – through locally-led migration strategies.
The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) hosted today’s meeting that focussed on providing avenues of support for communities around rural Australia looking to welcome migrant workers and their families.
“Workforce shortages are hampering growth in rural Australia and undermining the future of our towns. Locally-led migration strategies have proven to be the best way to connect migrants to jobs and welcoming communities across rural Australia,” Mr Archer said.
Today’s meeting included representatives from regional communities, government, settlement services, community banking network, philanthropic organisations and migration agencies.
Local leaders and representatives from four areas came together to initiate the Rural Migration Initiative. They included:
- Limestone Coast, South Australia
- Great South Coast, Victoria
- The Orana Region, Western NSW, and
- The Bendigo Bank Community Bank network.
The RAI says this initial group is expected to expand over time, as other areas have expressed interest in developing their approaches to migration.
“We have been overwhelmed with the response from communities wanting to step up and solve their population and workforce challenges – while also welcoming new Australians to rural areas,” Mr Archer said.
With the government continuing to flag policy change to increase regional migration, Mr Archer said that locally-led strategies are the missing piece that will underpin success of new policy and an increase in permanent migration to rural areas in need of population growth and renewal.
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