A higher immigration number doesn’t address the skills shortage. Labor need to provide detail about how they are going to address the skills shortages. What skills will they target? What visas will be used? What additional resources will be provided, and when will they be available?
Today’s announcement will do nothing for our farmers and tourism/ hospitality sector, which largely rely on temporary workers, such as backpackers and international students.
What is the timeline for the record number of International Student Visa and Holiday Maker Visa applications to be processed?
Labor also need to keep the Agricultural Visa, so regional Australia has access to it as well as the Pacific Worker Scheme. Both need to be operated with integrity.
Labor can also quickly implement the UK and India Free Trade Agreements, which include mobility clauses, to increase the supply of temporary workers who can work in hospitality, on farms and in pubs.
Labor should also continue to promote the Working Holiday Maker Visa in key countries to help attract temporary workers to fill much-needed workforce gaps.
If Labor is going to increase Australia’s permanent migrant intake, it is also their responsibility to ensure they mitigate the impacts of this surge in population on local jobs and skills, community cohesion, economic growth, infrastructure, congestion and the environment.
It will be Labor’s responsibility to ensure that planning, housing and infrastructure provision keep pace with their migration intake to ensure the quality of life is maintained for all Australians.