POST 84: AT TIMES LIKE THIS, A DECENT WEST AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT WOULD RESTRICT STATE MIGRATION

Greater Perth’s population rockets up by 38,000 due to the McGowan’s government big migration agenda

The McGowan government are clearly fixated with increasing Greater Perth’s housing and population density. Their immigration policy is what fuels this. They seem incapable of taken a step back and observing the fact that their policy is not working and causing chronic unemployment.

Although the McGowan government are aware that low wage foreign workers/students’ compete with local youth for jobs, they are continuing to operate a big state migration program.

Pre Covid-19, net overseas migration (NOM) was booming, and the arrival of temporary visas to the State was unrelenting.

The most recent NOM for Greater Perth illustrates a big increase in population, up 38,000 to June 2020.  Perth had an extremely high growth rate at 1.8%, second only to Brisbane, but higher than the biggest cities Melbourne (1.6%) and Sydney (1.1%).

Primary driving force of population growth is the McGowan government’s temporary migrants Greater Perth program, competing with other states for low-cost labour. They have taken the decision to designate Perth for regional visa eligibility. Consequently, foreign immigrants made up the bulk of growth at over 22,000, nearly 60% of the total, see Table 1 below.

The marketing of Greater Perth job vacancies for temporary visas is doing nothing for the West Australian workforce. This is tantamount to the worst possible time to run a big migration program, given 90,000 West Australians are out of work.

A government of integrity would restrict state migration, here is why.

Western Australia has reached crisis point on unemployment. Why is this?

The unemployment fallout from the McGowan government’s extreme lockdown of the State in February 2021, due to one security guard infection, proved catastrophic.

In January 2021, 8,000 West Australians were stood down from their jobs for economic reasons. Because of lockdown in February 2021, the number increased 3-fold to over 23,000 stood down.

The crucial factor is will those stood down, return to a job, now that Job keeper subsidies are terminated?

According to a report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, some West Australian’s will perceive that they still have a job (but just no hours at the moment), while others will consider they have lost their job

Conclusions

Urging temporary foreign workers to choose Perth as their destination due to regional visa eligibility and foreign graduate visas is now an untenable position. The McGowan government have been able to apply this unreasonable policy for years, unopposed.

Providing over 100 State nominated occupations to foreign workers is clearly not a decent policy foundation for a  government to pursue, when over 20,000 of its citizens have just been stood down and nearly 90,000 are unemployed.

Table 1: Components of population change by capital city
Natural increaseInternal migrationOverseas migration
Melbourne33,271-9,26656,083
Sydney37,111-30,08750,083
Brisbane16,96613,77916,169
Perth14,61073522,214
Adelaide4,849-2,38713,665
Canberra3,377-6502,368
Hobart932-4352,113
Darwin1,548-1,864132
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Regional population 2019-20 financial year

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