The Department of Home Affairs has revealed that the permanent migration intake has fallen by more than ten per cent.
The Home Affairs Minister claims that tougher vetting measures have caused the intake levels to fall. The Coalition Government is about to enter its sixth year of government so any criticism of the previous intake level is an own goal. There have only been two Ministers responsible for immigration during that time: Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison.
Obviously, the careful vetting of anyone who wants to call Australia home is essential. Labor will always put security first. However, migration is also important for this nation’s economic well-being. A significant drop in migration levels can actually slow economic growth.
As recently as May this year, both the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Australian Industry Group called for the permanent migration intake to remain at 190,000. Only 162,417 permanent migrants were accepted in the past year.
We do need to ensure we have a secure process before granting permanent visas but we also need to recognise the significant contribution hard working migrants make to Australia: both economically and culturally.