In­crease ru­ral mi­gra­tion: think tank

Pilbara News - - News -

Mi­gra­tion could be the so­lu­tion to ar­rest­ing ru­ral pop­u­la­tion de­cline and work­force short­ages, ac­cord­ing to the Re­gional Aus­tralia In­sti­tute.

The re­gional think tank re­leased a new pol­icy paper last week call­ing on the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to adopt a new pol­icy fa­cil­i­tat­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of a net­work of pri­or­ity ru­ral mi­gra­tion ar­eas. RAI chief ex­ec­u­tive Jack Archer said re­gional mi­gra­tion projects scat­tered across Aus­tralia were see­ing some towns in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tion by up to 15 per cent.

“A new na­tional pol­icy could en­able many ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties to meet their lo­cal labour mar­ket needs and pro­vide sup­port for lo­cal growth and com­mu­nity re­newal,” he said. “We also have iden­ti­fied some changes to gov­ern­ment pol­icy that should be con­sid­ered to help make it eas­ier for ru­ral em­ploy­ers to em­ploy mi­grant staff.

“These pol­icy changes could be achieved at low cost to gov­ern­ments and we know phil­an­thropic in­vest­ment may also be an op­tion for other re­sources needed.”

Mr Archer said an ex­tra 2000 to 3000 mi­grants a year would halt pop­u­la­tion de­cline in most ru­ral ar­eas.

The pol­icy paper ad­dresses the re­sources re­quired for re­gional as­sess­ments, sup­port for new ar­rivals, em­ploy­ment tools, as well as a toolkit to help com­mu­ni­ties suc­cess­fully wel­come new mi­grants into their towns.

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