Cost benefit analysis needed for rural migration says researcher
Article was printed in ABC Rural on July 7, 2015.
Migrants working in regional areas of Australia are important to the overall regional economy. They fill the age discrepancy that is so often seen in regional Australia by young adults moving to the cities. Between 2009 and 2014, 230,000 migrants have joined Australian regional communities with 40% of them being aged between 20 -34. It is clear that international migration is essential to regional communities and these ages are crucial to create a thriving population in regional Australian residencies. CEO of Regional Australian Institute, Jack Archer, says “We’d really like the Productivity Commission to clarify the costs and benefits of migration, because that’s going to be a good foundation for getting migration in rural areas right.”
However, Mr Archer is concerned with the Governments request to the inquiry to consider potentially charging migrants a fee to help with their intake. Mr Archer argues that the focus of the inquiry should be highlighting the different needs of each regional area. “Understanding regional skills needs and prioritising regional migration is a really important area where I think we can improve migration,” he said.
As regional communities generally have a higher level of unemployment when compared to cities and towns by the coast, Mr Archer believes that directing the migrant flow to regional towns that are need of more business and can develop new jobs, would be greatly advantageous to everyone involved.