Published: Fri, October 12, 2018

New migrants to be forced to live outside Sydney and Melbourne

New migrants to be forced to live outside Sydney and Melbourne

The move, advocated by the Nationals and key lobby groups like the Farmers' Federation, is part of the government's bid to tackle population growth in the country's congested capitals while stimulating regional areas crying out for more labour.

New migrants wanting to settle in Australia may soon face a big condition on their stay: Sydney and Melbourne will be off limits.

"When someone is on a visa, we can easily place conditions on it".

The resulting strain on infrastructure in Australia's eastern cities cost the economy A$15 billion (S$14.7 billion) a year ago, with annual forecast losses of A$40 billion by 2030 if left unchecked, Tudge told an audience at the Menzies Research Centre think-tank in Melbourne.

The minister would not specify what punishments might apply to migrants who breach their conditions, or how long the conditions would be imposed.

Australia's so-called points system for assessing potential migrants sees skilled workers ranked by their need, and they must also pass health and character tests.

"Migrants will gravitate to opportunities and amenities in cities", he tweeted Tuesday.

The new visas would require recipients to live outside major cities for "at least a few years".

Asked if Australia should set a population target, Mr Tudge said there was no need to set "an exact number".

"Certainly in Sydney you've got infrastructure being built right across the city".

"People are voting with their feet, they want to be in cities and so I think the job for government is to ensure that cities work and that people can get around rather than to try to get people to go where they don't want to go", Ms. Terrill said.

"I'm not sure its legally viable", the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

Figures published by the Department of Home Affairs in August revealed that 87 percent of migrants who arrived in Australia between June 2016 and June 2018 settled in either Melbourne or Sydney.

The conservative coalition government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, which holds a bare one-seat parliamentary majority, has taken the lead in moves to reduce permanent immigration.

There are also questions about the business impact in big cities, where job creation is outstripped migration, said James Pearson, CEO of the Australian Chamber of Business and Industry. "There are a lot reasons for that, but one of those reasons is that the population has been growing, on average, 1.5 per cent a year", Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said.

He said there needed to be "controlled population growth" and flagged future announcements on high-speed train lines "early next year".

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