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Time for discussions over migration and needs of job market

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Too often commentators and politicians conflate temporary and permanent migration.

Reducing permanent migration is touted as a cure for the ills of crowded cities with overburdened roads and rail.

Commuters crowd to board a train at Town Hall, with the Prime Minister vowing to tackle congestion in the city.Credit:Kate Geraghty

The Prime Minister spoke this week of managing our population growth in terms of
‘congestion busting’ and the ‘capacity of our cities’. Accordingly, the government’s new population policy confirmed about a 15 per cent drop in the annual intake of permanent migrants, capped for the next four years.

But Australia’s annual permanent migrant intake is miniscule compared to those allowed to visit on temporary visas with restricted work rights. For instance, 111,099 permanent skilled visas were issued in 2017-18 compared to 653,218 temporary visas in the main, uncapped work and study-related........

© The Age