CHINESE private investment leading BEIJING’s push into the PACIFIC

IS this what happens when you take your neighbours for granted?

WHERE was Australia over the last 20 years?

IS this what happens when you over-price your attractiveness and tourists go elsewhere?

AND despite what happened elsewhere politically Australians are still going to other places in the South Pacific … Vanuatu isn’t near the top of the list …
New colonialists. ….

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IS this why Scomo and Co are attempting to cover it all up?

Chinese private investment leading Beijing’s push into the Pacific

By foreign affairs reporter Melissa Clarke and Prianka Srinivasan

24 OCTOBER 2019

VIDEO: The Chinese-backed Rainbow City project is the biggest residential development in Vanuatu. (ABC News)

RELATED STORY: Why are Chinese nationals snapping up Vanuatu passports?

RELATED STORY: What’s in the secret documents signed by China and Vanuatu at APEC?

RELATED STORY: ‘A stadium is pretty cheap for China’: Gifts roll in ahead of Pacific summit

Rainbow City is little more than a swathe of grassland on an island in the Pacific, but it has an apparently grand future.

Key points:

  • Rainbow City is being marketed to foreigners as a “Little Singapore” in Vanuatu
  • The project covering more than 86 hectares will dwarf nearby villages and resorts
  • Locals say they have been kept in the dark about the development

The grass is slowly being replaced with roads, the soil forming the base for apartments, villas and shopping centres.

*This patch of paradise on Efate, the island that is home to Vanuatu’s capital, will eventually become a mini city for foreigners.

Over the next 10 years, the buildings over 86 hectares of open land will come to dwarf the surrounding villages, private homes and small resorts that neighbour it.

*Supported by private, Chinese-backed investment, it is the biggest residential development in Vanuatu.

Australia and the United States have been worried about the growing level of Chinese government interest in Vanuatu and the Pacific more broadly, but private investments from China like Rainbow City are booming.

And for locals, it is the most direct source of disquiet and discomfort about the future of their island homes.

‘Little Singapore’ in the Pacific

The front gates of Rainbow City. They are big and brown with the words "CITY" and "THE Rainbow city" on the left and right sides

PHOTO: Rainbow City’s developer expects the project to be complete in about 10 years. (ABC News: Melissa Clarke)

Behind Rainbow City is one woman, Ruimin Cheng, who has lived in Vanuatu for about 10 years, and is known locally as Amy Feng.

She is the head of the Port Vila-based FPF Company, which, as well as developing Rainbow City, runs a weekly newspaper and advises foreigners on Vanuatu’s citizenship-by-investment program.

‘Passports for sale’

'Passports for sale'

Under Vanuatu’s citizenship by investment scheme, successful applicants can become citizens within a matter of months, and there’s no requirement to even set foot on Vanuatu soil.

Rainbow City, according to Ms Cheng, is part of her efforts to contribute to Vanuatu’s economy.

“We want to help Vanuatu … open the tourist market, have tourists come here,” she told the ABC.

“People from the whole world will come here … [from] England or Australia, or … China or Hong Kong, Macau.”

Although ostensibly aimed at attracting investors from around the world, the marketing and design of the development — which the company has dubbed Little Singapore — is clearly geared towards Asian investment.

Preliminary construction has begun, but not a single property has been sold yet, or even put on the market.

“A lot of people [are] asking how much to buy,” Ms Cheng said.

“Soon we will make it to market,” she went on to explain, saying the first property sales were due to take place around the end of the year.

Inside the Rainbow City gates, some construction work can be seen on a structure. Two people are inside the gate, and a truck.

PHOTO: Details about how the huge development project is being funded remain vague. (ABC News: Melissa Clarke)

In lieu of buyers, the first stages of the development are being funded by Ms Cheng’s private companies — some based in Vanuatu, others in China.

When pressed, she was vague about how many and which companies were financially backing the project.

A walled mini city

The concrete wall that rings the Rainbow City site was the first thing to be built and it sits uneasily with ni-Vanuatu, as the people native to the islands of Vanuatu are known.

Graham Toara’s village neighbours Rainbow City, but proximity has not brought clarity.

A concrete wall build in tropical greenery, which surrounds the Rainbow City site. The brickwork appears sloppy and crumbly.

PHOTO: Neighbours are concerned the concrete wall around Rainbow City may be a sign of things to come. (ABC News: Melissa Clarke)

Although the developers are promising ni-Vanuatu will be able to access the schools and hospital planned as part of the mini city, Mr Toara is suspicious.

“When you are talking about a town — town means that there’s no wall,” he said.

“If you build a town, you have to remove the wall.”

His frustration and confusion are clear, as he grapples with the prospect of a giant, gated community of foreigners on his doorstep.

Gabriel Toara, left, and her son Graham Toara sit in chairs looking to the right of the photo.

PHOTO: Gabriel Toara (left) and her son Graham Toara live in a village beside the Rainbow City site. (ABC News: Melissa Clarke)

“We don’t understand the Rainbow City, actually. We need the Government to explain it to us,” he said.

All the Chinese is building this. The community that is living around here, they do not understand.”

There is no shortage of resorts and foreign visitors in Vanuatu, with tourism the mainstay of the nation’s economy.

China’s diplomatic weapon

China's diplomatic weapon

A ban on Chinese tourists to the tiny Pacific nation of Palau is leaving hotels empty and an airline in limbo.

Vanuatu is made up of more than 80 islands in the South Pacific, east of Townsville and west of Fiji, which makes it a hotspot for travellers seeking quiet, untouched beaches and world-class diving.

But this development is of a previously unseen scale and coincides with growing concern about Chinese influence in the region.

Mr Toara is emphatic this development is unparalleled in Vanuatu.

“Never. Never. Never. I am ni-Vanuatu and I have never seen this before,” he said.

His mother, Gabriel Toara, presses the point, switching from her native Bislama to halting English to get her message across.

A dog walks under a clothesline, next to a tin house at a lush looking village on Efate, next to Rainbow City.

PHOTO: Local ni-Vanuatu people are worried about the scale of Chinese land purchases on Efate. (ABC News: Melissa Clarke)

“Over here, and up there, and the other side,” she said, pointing out where different Chinese investors had purchased land around her family’s village.

“They try to buy here, but my son doesn’t want. He come to the land and stop them, not allow [them] to buy here because this is my land.”

“We worry how the Chinese come and build house and buy everyplace in Vanuatu and we didn’t understand why they buy Vanuatu.”

Vanuatu on the world’s radar

A small tree stands in a green space near a lagoon along the sandy shore of Efate Island, Vanuatu.

PHOTO: Pacific Island nations, and their huge ocean territories, are seen as strategically important countries. (ABC News: Melissa Clarke)

Anxiety around Chinese-backed development in the Pacific is not new, but it is heightened, given the renewed focus on the region by the world’s great powers.

The vast oceanic territory under the control of the island nations through their exclusive economic zones — and their strategically advantageous mid-ocean locations — has thrust the Pacific back onto the radar of China and the United States, as well as their allies.

Last year, US and Australian officials were alarmed at the prospect of China establishing a permanent military presence in Vanuatu, despite both countries strenuously denying such talks ever took place.

The Chinese-funded redevelopment of Vanuatu’s Luganville port did little to assuage their concerns.

Vanuatu denies base claims

Australia warns Vanuatu after reports the Pacific nation was talking to Beijing about hosting a Chinese military base.

Vanuatu is already one of the biggest recipients of China’s largesse in the Pacific, according to a comprehensive analysis of aid to the Pacific by the Lowy Institute.

Their Pacific Aid Map shows China donated almost twice as much to Vanuatu as Australia through $US99.65 million ($145 million) in grants and concessional loans.

That money paid for the redevelopment of the Luganville wharf along with smaller projects, such as building new offices for the Prime Minister, President, and the Foreign Affairs and Finance ministries.

However, Australia remains the biggest single national contributor of aid to the Pacific, having spent $1.2 billion across the region.

New Zealand and Japan still outrank China in aid committed to the region, too.

Diplomatic officials from both Australia and the US have told the ABC they are concerned China’s strategic lending will lead to “debt-trap diplomacy”, though some experts have recently cautioned against overstating such concerns.

Claims workers paid $1.70 per hour

John Bakoa stands near a grassy path next to an empty, tropical paddock. Two children and a woman are walking down the path.

PHOTO: John Bakoa says he was paid less than Vanuatu’s minimum wage while working for the developer. (ABC News: Melissa Clarke)

While nations that rim the Pacific jostle for influence across the ocean, on the islands and atolls the concern reaches into everyday life.

*Developments like Rainbow City hold the promise of jobs and training for ni-Vanuatu, but locals tell a different story.

John Bakoa lives on a property just down the road from Rainbow City and worked on the construction site, helping to build the perimeter wall.

*“They don’t pay us well,” he said. “They pay us 130 vatu … per hour.”

*That is about $1.70 in Australian terms, and is well below Vanuatu’s minimum wage.

Ms Cheng vociferously disputes this, saying full-time workers on the site are paid a “good and high salary” that is “always over” the minimum wage, although it is not clear if that applies to casual workers too.

*Locals are also worried Chinese workers will either refuse to buy fruit and vegetables from them, or undercut them at markets.

People sell fruit and vegetables in a large metal shed on the island of Efate, Vanuatu. There are some big green lettuces

PHOTO: Selling produce at local markets is an important source of income for many villagers. (ABC News: Melissa Clarke)

Mr Bakoa acknowledges his former workplace has the potential to bring investment and infrastructure that will benefit ni-Vanuatu as well as foreigners.

“The Chinese have a lot of money they bring in,” he said, but Mr Bakoa does not see it helping those around him.

“The work conditions aren’t great, they push you really hard and then you only get a bit of money in return,” he said.

*The need for assistance and development is high, but so is the desire to retain control and national identity

*Mr Bakoa is unsettled by the changes on his island home.

“I hear that … lots of people could be helped by the development.”

“But I’m not really sure. You know, because it’s Chinese, they have their ideas. We don’t really understand it.”

Contact Melissa Clarke

SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-24/rainbow-city-vanuatu-chinese-investment-pacific/11626020

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Get Ready for Another Structural HOUSING SHORTAGE …

Get ready for another structural housing shortage

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Property

October 23, 2019 | 15 comments

Australians are going to have to get used to living in more cramped and crowded accommodation as housing supply once again falls below rampant immigration-fuelled population growth.

That’s the view of Australia’s largest listed developer, Stockland, who has warned that housing shortages are developing from coast-to-coast:

The country’s largest listed residential developer Stockland has warned that housing shortages could emerge in every market in Australia as the property cycle accelerates…

“We expect you will see quite a considerable undersupply emerge in just about every housing market in the country,” [CEO Mark Steinert said]…

Tim Johansen, the global head of capital at development financier Qualitas, backed this view:

“There might be a lot of cranes on the skyline but that masks what is happening”…

“We think the supply has dropped off big time and it’s taking a lot longer to get a new development started”…

The RBACBA and BIS Oxford Economics all made similar predictions last week.

It’s hard to disagree. Both dwelling approvals and commencements have collapsed, meaning that dwelling supply will fall sharply over the next two years at least:

Growing concerns over apartment quality, alongside growing developer bankruptcies, will also prevent construction from rebounding. Thus, we are looking at a protracted construction downturn.

However, just because Australia’s housing market is headed into structural undersupply doesn’t automatically mean that prices and rents will surge.

Household income growth remains anaemic:

Whereas unemployment is also set to rise, owing partly to the construction jobs bust:

Australian households are also carrying gigantic debt loads at the same time mortgage rates are approaching their structural bottom:

The likely scenario is that household formation will slow as more Australians hunker down together (e.g. youngsters will live with mum and dad for longer or in group homes).

Accordingly, the slowing housing supply will be met by slowing demand, thereby limiting any rent / price increases.

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/10/get-ready-for-another-structural-housing-shortage/

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Malaysian scammers abuse Australia’s electronic visa system

Malaysian scammers abuse Australia’s electronic visa system

Malaysian scammers abuse Australia’s electronic visa system

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy

October 23, 2019 | 3 comments

Another report has emerged highlighting how Malaysians are manipulating Australia’s electronic travel authority (ETA) visa system to stay long-term in Australia:

Australia’s population of 64,600 lapsed visa holders is more than triple the size of last year’s refugee intake, newly released Immigration data has revealed.

Malaysian visa overstayers were the most highly represented, with around 9,440 living in the country in June 30 last year…

The data shows the vast majority of visa overstayers were on tourist visas – an estimated 47,000 – followed by student visas at around 10,000…

The data also breaks down the length of overstays, with around 12,000 people staying in the country without a visa for more than 20 years…

Malaysians are the biggest group in the visa overstay data, beating much more populous countries like China, India and the United States.

Many high-profile Malaysians, including members of parliament, were educated in Australia under the Colombo Plan…

Those highly educated, low-risk Malaysians have led to the country receiving a ‘low-risk’ visa rating from Immigration, which makes it easy for them to get visas with minimal vetting…

Malaysia is covered by the Electronic Travel Authority, which means their tourist visas are essentially approved automatically…

The ABC last month also revealed that 33,000 Malaysians have exploited Australia’s ETA system over recent years in order to travel to Australia to then submit fraudulent applications for asylum:

High Commissioner Andrew Goledzinowski said 33,000 Malaysians had applied for asylum in Australia in recent years…

“Many who overstay then apply for refugee status…. They are doing it because they know we are a generous country”…

“From the information we have, the large number [applying for asylum] is due to the fact that Malaysians are taking advantage of Australia’s immigration laws to enable them to stay longer in an unlawful manner,” said a statement from Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs…

“Everybody [in Malaysia] has got this idea that it’s so easy to get asylum in Australia,” [James Chin, director of the Asia Institute Tasmania] said.

The issue has even garnered attention from the Malaysian Government:

The Malaysian government this week acknowledged Malaysians seeking to earn money in Australia were scamming the country’s protection visa system by the thousands each year…

Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Yahya told parliament there were few disincentives for workers to try their luck because it was so cheap to apply for a protection visa.

The worst that could happen was they would be sent home at Australia’s expense…

The obvious policy solution to stop this rorting is to suspend Malaysia from the ETA system.

Australia’s visa system is being badly undermined by tens-of-thousands of Malaysians making bogus claims for asylum, as well as working illegally.

This is clogging up the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), as noted by Senate Estimates yesterday:

Top five countries for refugee appeals in 2018-19:

  • Malaysia (5858)
  • China (1561)
  • Vietnam (465)
  • India (227)
  • Pakistan (178)

“In the last three years, certainly Malaysia has been the dominant country, it has represented more than half of the protection lodgements,” AAT official Sobet Haddad told the committee.

This fake refugee influx is also costing Australian taxpayers dearly, given each migrant and refugee case reviewed by the AAT costs between $2137 and $3036 to review.

As long as Malaysia remains on the ETA system, the pathway to exploitation will remain wide open.

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/10/malaysian-scammers-abuse-australias-electronic-visa-system/

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AUSTRALIA’s SKILLED VISA HOAX EXPOSED AGAIN!

KEY POINTS …

half of Australia’s skilled migrant intake is comprised of family members (spouses and children)

only some 30% of Australia’s planned migrant intake is actually ‘skilled’

by enticing foreign labour into areas that are already oversupplied with workers it undercuts local workers and supresses wage growth

the wage floor for temporary and permanent skilled migrants should lifted to the 80th to 90th percentile of earnings, or indexed to double the median wage

this would ensure that Australia’s visa system is used sparingly by employers to recruit only the highest skilled migrants

and prevent employers from undercutting local workers and encourage them to provide training

Australia’s skilled visa hoax exposed again

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy

October 21, 2019 | 25 comments

For years, MB has highlighted the deep flaws in Australia’s purported ‘skilled’ visa system, which accounts for around two-thirds of Australia’s planned migrant intake:

Our concerns has been based upon three main flaws, specifically:

  1. The overwhelming majority of migrants under the skilled stream are not actually skilled;
  2. Those that have arrived in Australia have overwhelmingly gone into areas that are not experiencing skills shortages; and
  3. The pay rates attached to skilled visas are appallingly low and undercut Australian workers.

Regarding the first flaw, the Productivity Commission’s 2016 Migrant Intake into Australia report revealed that around half of Australia’s skilled migrant intake is comprised of family members (spouses and children) of the primary skilled applicant, thus meaning that only around 30% of Australia’s planned migrant intake is actually ‘skilled’:

within the skill stream, about half of the visas granted were for ‘secondary applicants’ — partners (who may or may not be skilled) and dependent children… Therefore, while the skill stream has increased relative to the family stream, family immigrants from the skill and family stream still make up about 70 per cent of the Migration Programme (figure 2.8)…

Primary applicants tend to have a better fiscal outcome than secondary applicants — the current system does not consider the age or skills of secondary applicants as part of the criteria for granting permanent skill visas…

Regarding the second flaw, the Department of Jobs & Small Business produces an annual time-series database tracking skills shortages across occupations. This database shows that since the mining construction boom ended in 2012, skills shortages across managerial and professional occupations have run below the 32-year average:

*This is important because three-quarters of visas handed out under the skilled stream under both the permanent and temporary programs are for managerial and professional occupations, which are already well supplied with workers.

*The failure of Australia’s ‘skilled’ visa programs to alleviate genuine skills shortages arises because almost any occupation is eligible for visas, and skilled occupation lists have no requirement that the occupations are actually experiencing skills shortages.

*Accordingly,  ‘skilled’ visas are being used by employers to access foreign workers for an ulterior motive, namely to undercut local workers and lower wage costs.

This incentive to employ cheap foreign labour has been exacerbated by the federal government’s appallingly low salary floor for temporary skills shortage (TSS) visas.

This salary floor has been set at just $53,900 since 2013-14, which is $19,000 below the median full-time Australian salary of $72,900 (comprising both skilled and unskilled workers).

Not surprisingly, then, the actual pay rates for ‘skilled’ workers is below the population as a whole, according to the Department of Home Affairs’ Continuous Survey of Australia’s Migrants. This survey revealed that the median full-time salary 18 months after being granted a skilled visa was just $72,000 in 2016, below the population median of $72,900. This is an appalling result given the population median includes unskilled workers, which drags the nation-wide median full-time salary down.

*With this unsavoury background in mind, SBS News published an interesting case study highlighting why Australia’s skilled visa system is a hoax.

The SBS article profiles a Pakistani family that migrated to South Australia on a permanent state-nominated ‘skills shortage’ visa, only for the primary visa holder to deliver food for six months before finally gaining work in the highly oversupplied mechanical engineering field:

When Pakistani migrant Ishtiaq Ahmed was considering a destination to call home for his young family in Australia, Adelaide was at the top of his list…

The 32-year-old moved to Adelaide in 2017 with his wife Zartaisha Kanwal and child and soon later found work in mechanical engineering on a subclass 190 Skilled Nomination Visa

When Mr Ahmed first arrived in Adelaide he had to work odd jobs, including delivering food, for six months before he landed a job in his trained profession as a mechanical engineer.

This case study meets the first two flaws identified above.

First, the primary ‘skilled’ visa holder has brought over three unskilled dependents on a permanent basis – a wife and two children.

Second, the skilled visa holder has arrived in South Australia to work in an area – mechanical engineering – that is already way oversupplied with qualified workers.

Proof of this is documented clearly in the Department of Employment’s latest skills shortages report for South Australia. This report shows that there were 94 applicants per job vacancy in mechanical engineering in 2019, with 81 qualified applicants per vacancy:

• The average number of applicants increased significantly in 2019 (94.0), compared to 2018 (20.4).
• The average number of suitable applicants per vacancy was relatively unchanged in 2019 (1.2), from 2018 (1.1)…
• The average number of qualified applicants per vacancy increased in 2019 (81.4) compared to in 2018 (17.6).
• The reasons why applicants were considered unsuitable included:
○ Applicants lacked skills and experience in technical fields in specific industries
○ Applicants lacked basic soft skills including being able to work in a team and communication skills
○ Applicants were not considered an appropriate ‘fit’ for the organisation’s culture and values.
• Employers required applicants to have a tertiary qualification, a bachelor degree specialising in mechanical engineering field and most employers required a minimum of two to five years experience.
• Employers found it difficult to recruit experienced Mechanical Engineers in specialised fields that required five to ten years experience and met specific industry requirements.

Clearly, by enticing foreign labour into areas that are already oversupplied with workers, it undercuts local workers and supresses wage growth.

In order to stop the rorting, the wage floor for temporary and permanent skilled migrants should lifted to the 80th to 90th percentile of earnings, or indexed to double the median wage.

This would ensure that Australia’s visa system is used sparingly by employers to recruit only the highest skilled migrants. It would also prevent employers from undercutting local workers and encourage them to provide training.

Ishtiaq Ahmed

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/10/australias-skilled-visa-hoax-exposed-again/

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Unions declare war on Labor over FTA Betrayal …

Perhaps if the Labor Party continues down this path … they will have to do a lot more naval gazing as to WHY yet another Election loss … FFS!

Begs the question who is white-ant eating from within? Who has grabbed control?

Unions declare war on Labor over FTA treachery

Unions declare war on Labor over FTA treachery

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy

October 21, 2019 | 9 comments

Last week, Labor attracted scorn from union leaders after the party’s caucus voted to support the federal government’s proposed free-trade agreements (FTAs) with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru.

The key area of contention is that the Indian and Peru FTAs include working rights, which would expand the number of temporary migrant workers in Australia by several thousand, thus further undercutting local workers.

Over the weekend, a union-backed motion opposing free these FTAs was narrowly defeated 67 votes to 64 at the 2019 conference of Labor’s Northern Territory branch.

The motion included a provision that MPs who vote for policies against the national platform should be expelled from the party. Warren Snowdon, Luke Gosling and Malarn­dirri McCarthy could have faced expulsion if the motion had been passed. From The Australian:

The ACTU and some Labor MPs argue that the free-trade deals, which the Labor leader and federal caucus backed last week, are a violation of the policy platform.

The motion was proposed by the Electrical Trades Union and backed by the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union. CFMEU Queensland and NT secretary Michael Ravbar spoke in favour of the motion…

The Opposition Leader yesterday defended supporting the agreements, saying they were “good for Australian jobs”…

The union movement claims that Labor has reneged on a deal to protect Australian workers in FTAs:

Back in December 2018 the AMIEU and other Unions made a deal with the Labor Party that the conditions of Australian workers would be protected in all future trade agreements.

Labor was so embarrassed when we threatened to picket a Bill Shorten fundraising event they agreed to introduce better and fairer trade agreement legislation.

We expect Labor to honour the deal struck with the Union movement, but already they are showing signs of flopping.

Labor Parliamentarians MUST OPPOSE the Liberal Government’s new free trade agreements with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru.

These new trade agreements will increase the number of temporary visa workers in Australia, of which there are already 1.4 million. Visa workers are taken advantage of by multinational corporations and used to erode the wages and conditions of everyone.

Not only have these free trade agreements not been independently assessed, they do not require labour market testing and even allow multinationals to sue the Australian government if they aren’t making enough money.

The AMIEU has written to Federal Labor, Greens and Independent Parliamentarians to oppose the proposed free trade agreements. We urge these Parliamentarians to closely examine the new trade agreements to see just how they will disadvantage Australian workers.

Federal Labor Parliamentarians, if you aren’t going to fight for the workers you claim to represent, you aren’t fit for your job.

As I said last week, the “Labor” Party no longer supports the working class, but rather inner-city social justice warriors and virtue signallers. They care more about identity politics than real issues that impact the working class.

*Nor is the union movement adequately representing its working-class. While it is fighting the good fight on FTAs, it remains a wholehearted supporter of Australia’s mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy, even signing a ‘Big Australia’ immigration compact with employer groups last year.

This comes despite mass immigration being a key driver of inequality, since it raises the wealth of capitalists while driving down the wages of ordinary workers, and forces workers to live in smaller and more expensive housing.

Rather than focussing on tiny FTAs, unions need to push for root-and-branch immigration reform, starting with dramatically lowering the overall permanent migrant intake, as well as setting a wage floor for ‘skilled’ migrants at the 80th to 90th percentile of earnings or double the median wage.

This would ensure the scheme is used sparingly by employers on only the highest skilled migrants, not as a general labour market tool for accessing cheap foreign labour and eliminating the need for training.

Photo: The Australian: Mimicking Howard just a start for Albanese

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/10/unions-declare-war-on-labor-over-fta-treachery/#comments

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CBA: Mass Immigration will keep AUSTRALIAN HOUSING Unaffordable!

KEY POINTS ...

-an additional 17.5 million people will massively increase demand for housing, thus placing upward pressure on values

the claim that immigration is “the fountain of youth” fails Demography 101

-a key driver of Australia’s current ‘baby boomer bulge’ is the mass immigration program ran in the post-war period i.e. 1950s and 1960s

-these migrants have now grown old, thus adding to Australia’s current ageing ‘problem’

-therefore importing more migrants is the equivalent of ‘can-kick economics’; today’s migrants will also grow old’; an ageing problem in 40 year’s time

running annual net overseas migration (NOM) of 200,000 to 280,000 delivers only 3% more working-aged Australians by 2101 than zero NOM

adding 150% to 200% more people to Australia’s population versus zero NOM

Such a massive increase in population will obviously take a massive toll on Australia’s natural environment and general liveability.

CBA: Mass immigration will keep Australian housing unaffordable

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Property

October 21, 2019 | 5 comments

CBA interest rate strategists, Jarrod Kerr and Adam Donaldson, claim that mass immigration is Australia’s “fountain of youth” and will prevent housing prices from falling. From The Australian:

👿
😂

Back in January 2017, the interest rate strategists at the Commonwealth Bank published a Global Markets Research paper called Demography is Destiny for Interest Rates, But Immigration a Fountain of Youth. Kerr and Donaldson were the authors…

Deflation, not inflation, is listed as the biggest threat ahead…

The paper does not predict Australian house prices will fall, though. So it may not be wise for millennials to sit back and wait for them to become cheaper.

The paper makes the case that, against the trends in many other countries, Australia will still experience growth.

Our differentiator is immigration, “the fountain of youth”. Put simply, we are a destination of choice for China and India. The average age of our immigrant is in the mid-20s, and people at this stage in life form families and buy houses.

CBA’s claim that mass immigration will prevent Australian housing from deflating is uncontroversial.

Australia’s population is projected to balloon by another 17.5 million people over the next 48 years to around 43 million people, with all of this growth to come via net overseas migration (NOM):

Obviously, this additional 17.5 million people will massively increase demand for housing, thus placing upward pressure on values.

*Where the CBA’s analysis falls short is the claim that immigration is “the fountain of youth”. This fails Demography 101.

*A key driver of Australia’s current ‘baby boomer bulge’ is the mass immigration program ran in the post-war period (i.e. 1950s and 1960s):

*These migrants (which include my parents) have now grown old, thus adding to Australia’s current ageing ‘problem’. Therefore, importing more migrants to solve ageing is the equivalent of ‘can-kick economics’, because today’s migrants will also grow old, thus creating further ageing problems in 40 year’s time.

Second, the ABS’ own demographic projections show that immigration is next to useless in ‘younging’ Australia’s population.

*That is, if we apply a more realistic definition for the working aged population of 19 to 70 (given more kids are staying in school and older Australians are working longer), then running annual net overseas migration (NOM) of 200,000 to 280,000 delivers only 3% more working-aged Australians by 2101 than zero NOM:

*This tiny ‘benefit’ will only be transitory and comes at the expense of adding 150% to 200% more people to Australia’s population versus zero NOM:

*Such a massive increase in population will obviously take a massive toll on Australia’s natural environment and general liveability.

Detailed counter-arguments to the CBA’s “fountain of youth” claim are articulated in the research paper Three Economic Myths about Ageing: Participation, Immigration and Infrastructure, which was authored by Dr Cameron Murray and I and commissioned by Sustainable Australia.

https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/AgeingMythReport_vPUBLISH.pdf

Photo: The Australian

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/10/cba-mass-immigration-will-keep-australian-housing-unaffordable/

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ENSLAVED BY OWN COUNTRYMEN …

Employers could face criminal charges for exploiting migrant workers. Photo: Daniel Norris/Unsplash

Employers could face criminal charges for exploiting migrant workers. Photo: Daniel Norris/Unsplash

KEY POINTS …. ON WHY AUSTRALIA HAS HIGH YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT AND UNDEREMPLOYMENT … the lack of action by the Morrison Government can only be described as contemptuous of the Australian People!

wage theft of international students is in all work sectors of the economy

underpayment is common in local Asian restaurants

80% of Chinese, Korean and Spanish advertised pay rates below the minimum wage

2.2 million temporary migrants in Australia as at June 2019, an increase of nearly 540,000 since 2012

-the increase in temporary visas has been driven by international students; whose numbers have surged by around 250,000 over the same period

International students enslaved by own countrymen

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy

October 21, 2019 | 21 comments

Wage theft from international students has been an enduring theme across the Australian economy over times.

Earlier this year, Alan Fels – the chair of the Migrant Workers Taskforce – described wage theft as “widespread and systematic”, and estimated that one-third of international students are being underpaid, typically by migrant employers of the same nationality:

Former consumer watchdog Allan Fels, who is leading the government’s Migrant Workers Taskforce, said he believed one-third of international students were being exploited, with an unpaid wages bill in the billions… [He estimated] up to 145,000 students on working visas are being underpaid by employers…

*Professor Fels… said workplace ­exploitation of overseas students was “widespread and systematic”…

*He said exploitation of inter­national students by businesses owned by migrants from the same ethnic group was a particular problem

The Wage Crisis in Australia – a book released last year by a group of academics – also raised concern for international students, who they claimed were vulnerable to exploitation because they “see themselves as involved in a project of ‘staggered’ or ‘multi-step’ migration”.

According to their analysis, around two-thirds of international students were paid below the minimum wage, with one-quarter earning $12/hour or less and 43% of students earning $15/hour or less.

The Grattan Institute also raised the alarm in July:

Australia is now running a predominantly low-skill migration system. People from this system form a material proportion of the younger workforce. Because of visa conditions, many of these migrants have incentives to work for less than minimum wages, and there is anecdotal evidence that many do…

It is possible that the scale of this influx to the labour market is depressing wages and increasing under-employment specifically for low-skill younger workers.

With this background in mind, SBS News has published another report profiling wage theft of international students by their fellow migrant countrymen:

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/they-told-me-that-they-could-pay-me-12-chinese-student-speaks-out-about-wage-theft

Jonathan said he wasn't sure how to talk to his boss about receiving minimum wage

Jonathan said he wasn’t sure how to approach his boss about receiving minimum wage: The Feed

Jonathan is an international student [from China] who has been consistently underpaid at a series of part time jobs. He says that when he first arrived in Australia, he was offered $12 an hour so many times he assumed it was legal…

“There was a small supermarket owned by a Chinese couple – they told me that they could pay me $12, and they said that’s the average,” Jonathan said…

Young workers and workers from a migrant background are particularly vulnerable to workplace exploitation

Young workers and workers from a migrant background are particularly vulnerable to workplace exploitation: The Feed

Jonathan didn’t end up taking that job, because around the same time he got a better offer — a Chinese restaurant offered to pay him $14.50 an hour instead…

It was only much later that Jonathan learnt that $14.50 an hour isn’t that great…

*He says underpayment is ‘a common thing’ in local Asian restaurants.

“So when it happens to me, I wouldn’t complain that much because, you know, at least I’m working. At least I’m getting money from this place”…

For international students, finding a part-time job that pays minimum wage can be surprisingly tough…

*“It is all too common,” Migrant Workers Centre director Matt Kunkel told The Feed. “We see it everywhere. We see in all sectors of the economy.”

*The video attached to the article is well worth watching. It shows Jonathan applying for around half a dozen jobs at Chinese-run businesses, all of which offered an average pay of $12 per hour – well below the minimum wage. The report also claims that 80% of Chinese, Korean and Spanish advertised pay rates were below the minimum wage.

VIDEO:

blob:https://www.sbs.com.au/266e94df-2e97-4422-8eee-36125d8b6d03

Another temporary migrant from Korea is also interviewed who reveals that she has been underpaid in every job she has had while living in Australia.

*According to the Department of Home Affairs, there were around 2.2 million temporary migrants in Australia as at June 2019, an increase of nearly 540,000 since 2012:

*As shown above, this increase in temporary visas has been driven by international students, whose numbers have surged by around 250,000 over the same period.

*To be honest, it is not only international students but the entire mass immigration model that is driving wage theft and exploitation. Specifically:

  • students, visa holders, tourists all work well below the minimum wage while they hope to qualify for longer-terms visas; and
  • their numbers grow endlessly, and so too does the overcapacity in the labour market.

*The result is that virtually every sector of the Australian economy has been flooded with cheap migrant labour, thus eroding worker bargaining power, industrial relations standards, and facilitating wage theft.

Australia’s chronic low wage growth will not be solved until the mass immigration rort is closed.

A restaurant offers to pay Jonathan below the minimum wage

A restaurant offers to pay Jonathan below the minimum wage

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/10/international-students-enslaved-by-own-countrymen/

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‘HARRY Always gets his Way’: Developer’s High-Rise Plans for Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs

WHY does Harry always get his way? Cough … cough …

QUOTES from HT …

-“I will bring in more migrants

-“Well, since I am not a modest person I say I had the biggest hand in it because I devoted myself to Sydney. I did a little bit in Queensland, but absolutely I am Sydney.”

-“The problem with Australians is they are very slow. They ask their lawyer, they ask their financial adviser, they ask their family, they ask everybody. The Chinese don’t ask anybody, they come off the plane, buy their unit and go.

“China has more than 1 billion people, and they love Australia. I think they love Australia as much as we love Australia. So there will always be enough of them that will buy.”

IS this how SydneySiders … Australians were sidelined from the Property Market … apart from the FIRB ruling of the 100% sell-off of our new domestic housing overseas, and the Real Estate Gatekeepers Exemption from Anti-Money Laundering Laws in October 2018 … having been shelved for more than a decade prior …

*PLEASE VIEW THE LINK BELOW AND SIGN THE PETITION!

IT would seem that overdevelopment is causing too many problems for the Berejiklian Government …

RELATED ARTICLE

‘Over the Top’: Huge MERITON Development proposed for LITTLE BAY

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2019/10/03/over-the-top-huge-meriton-development-proposed-for-little-bay/

‘Harry always gets his way’: Developer’s high-rise plans for Sydney’s eastern suburbs

Andrew Taylor
By Andrew Taylor

October 20, 2019

View all comments

Meriton’s plans to build 1900 apartments and a hotel in towers up to 22 storeys in Sydney’s eastern suburbs have been criticised by Randwick mayor Danny Said as “completely out of proportion” with the area.

Billionaire developer Harry Triguboff wrote to residents saying Meriton would seek approval from Randwick City Council to “increase the development capacity” of its site at Little Bay.

Artist's impression of Meriton's plan to build 1900 apartments at Little Bay in towers up to 22 storeys.
Artist’s impression of Meriton’s plan to build 1900 apartments at Little Bay in towers up to 22 storeys.CREDIT:MERITON

“The proposal is consistent with current government planning for future redevelopment of the broader area (including the adjoining housing estate and jail),” Mr Triguboff said.

But Cr Said said residents of Little Bay were right to be concerned about Meriton’s plans to build towers up to 73 meters. 

Maximum building heights for the site currently range from eight to 18 metres, or two to six storeys.

“Meriton’s proposal would double the population of the suburb, cramming up to 5,000 more residents into a small area,” he said. “The density and height proposed is completely out of proportion and scale with the character of the surrounding suburban area.”

A Meriton spokeswoman said its new proposal for the 12-hectare site was in line with the government’s latest plans for Sydney, including a future metro station on adjoining public land.

“It can’t be locked away forever and it is well documented that the jail will also be closed at some stage so it is time to look forward on these sites not backwards,” she said.

“It is simply not possible, or appropriate, for the city to continue growing west when large undeveloped sites that are closer to jobs, infrastructure, transport and amenity are available.”

The community group Save Little Bay also opposes Meriton’s plans and has gathered more than 3,600 signatures on a petition that called it an “atrocious overdevelopment”.

Olde Lorenzen, a spokesman for the community group, said the apartment development was “uniquely out of place”.

“For Meriton to come in so cunningly with a monstrous and soulless proposal with building heights four to six times as high and much greater density is appalling,” he said.

Olde Lorenzen, a spokesman for Save Little Bay, said Meriton's development plans were "monstrous and soulless".
Olde Lorenzen, a spokesman for Save Little Bay, said Meriton’s development plans were “monstrous and soulless”.CREDIT:LOUISE KENNERLEY

Mr Lorenzen said there was a sentiment in the community that “Harry always gets his way” and “always wins at state level” – a viewed shared by Michael Daley, the Labor member for Maroubra and former opposition leader.

“Many citizens have said ‘What Harry wants, Harry gets’ under this Liberal government,” Mr Daley said, pointing to Meriton’s Pagewood Green development, next to Westfield Eastgardens, which he said was “just over-the-top”.

Mr Daley said Meriton’s Little Bay proposal was an “outrage” and “just warped”.

“Council I’m sure will knock it back and they’ll just run around behind the council and do a spot rezoning with the state government,” he said. “That should not be allowed to happen.”

Meriton’s plans are currently before the council and have not been referred to the Planning Department.

Any proposal to increase building heights through a rezoning of land would be referred to the local planning panel for advice, and must align with the Eastern City District Plan.

A council spokesman said the rezoning proposal had been instigated by Meriton: “Council is required to assess any planning proposal that we receive and consider if it has strategic merit before it can proceed to public exhibition and community consultation.”

RELATED ARTICLE

Residents in the Zetland block recount widespread outbreaks of dangerous mould and rotting carpet and floorboards.
DEVELOPMENT OUTRAGE

Immediate reforms: Triguboff’s Meriton wants building industry change

The council has approved 450 dwellings for Little Bay, half of which have already been constructed.

Meriton purchased the Little Bay Cove project for $245 million in 2017. The land had approval for 391 apartments and townhouses.

The Meriton spokeswoman said more public transport, open space and public services were planned as part of the development as well as 76 dwellings set aside as affordable housing.

“If approved, the proposal will generate close to 8,000 jobs, in excess of $750 million in government taxes and charges plus the housing the government needs,” she said.

Corrections Minister Anthony Roberts said the future of Long Bay jail had not been decided.

“Any possible redevelopment of the site would not begin until additional correctional capacity had been procured in Sydney,” he said.

Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor is a Senior Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

9f343351-77f9-415d-9b95-593f5915261e

Photo: 2018 Rich List: Top 10 Property Players: The Urban Developer

SOURCE: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/harry-always-gets-his-way-developer-s-high-rise-plans-for-sydney-s-eastern-suburbs-20191017-p531k2.html

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WATER SUPPLIES IN REGIONAL TOWNS WILL IMPACT ON SYDNEY’S POPULATION …

The Morrison Government has not only lured Temporary Visa holders with the opportunity to buy Our Real Estate …

BUT … also ramped up its efforts to send not only Visa Workers and Family, but more International Students to The BUSH!

-*1,000 scholarships worth $15,000 available every year to international students in regional areas

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2019/10/20/population-ponzi-destroys-gold-coast-but-universities-demand-more/?fbclid=IwAR31l4ijosSeAzYisGhcI1WscbCs9j3nvuvF59h8ETib2h3Mpfd9wyuodi0

NOW …

will the harsh reality of ‘The Bush’ set in … with AUSTRALIA being the driest continent on Earth … ?

Day-zero: Water supplies in regional towns will impact on Sydney’s population

By Matt Wade and Eryk Bagshaw

October 21, 2019

Dwindling water supplies in towns such as Armidale and Tamworth threatens to sap population growth in regional NSW and add to Sydney’s congestion as the drought takes a deepening toll on the economy.

Leading regional economist, Terry Rawnsley, has warned fears about water could discourage Sydney residents from moving to regional towns at the same time as the economic effects of the drought force workers to depart country areas in search of opportunities.

Lake Burrendong, one of NSW's biggest dams, will have pumps extended to draw out more of its dwindling water.
Lake Burrendong, one of NSW’s biggest dams, will have pumps extended to draw out more of its dwindling water. CREDIT:NICK MOIR

“You’ve had political focus on getting more people into the regions but if people are thinking about moving to a regional town and they read the place is about to run out of water that might put questions in their mind,” said Rawnsley who authors the annual Economic Performance of Cities and Regions Report published by SGS Economics and Planning.

“People are drifting away from towns because the drought has weakened the economy but those who want to move away from Sydney are turned off because water is such a fundamental requirement.”

The Morrison government has been ramping up efforts to push more migrants into the regions as population pressures increase congestion in Sydney and Melbourne, while regional areas confront skill shortages.

The measures, which are designed to stimulate struggling towns, are a key part of the Coalition’s population policy, which will see refugees, skilled migrants and students diverted away from sprawling outer suburbs towards regional centres.

New figures show 6350 regional visas have been granted in the past year, a 124 per cent increase on 2017-18.

In Victoria the number of visas granted rose by 65 per cent compared to 2018. In NSW the number grew by 78 per cent, according to the Department of Home Affairs.

The NSW budget in June warned drought conditions would weigh heavily on the rural sector and was a source of “uncertainty” for the economy.

The water supply of some the state’s biggest towns has been hit by drought including Armidale, Tamworth, Orange and Dubbo. The Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, warned last week that large NSW towns would struggle to survive if the drought continues for another three years.

Armidale Regional Council says on present usage, water supply from the Malpas Dam will run out in November next year – dubbed “day-zero”. Armidale’s residents have been asked to reduce their water consumption to 160 litres per person per day to conserve supplies and that will fall to 50 litres when only 60 days of water supply remain.

“We realise that if it does get down to those really low levels people will drift away,” said Armidale mayor, Simon Murray. “That’s why we are working so hard with the community and local businesses so we can use our water efficiently – together we’ll get through this.”

In Tamworth the main water source, Chaffey Dam, has fallen to 18.7 per cent of capacity and the town is on level five water restrictions. Earlier this month Dubbo Regional Council began carting drinking water to residents in Euchareena, a village about 300 kilometres north west of Sydney.

James McTavish, the NSW regional town water supply coordinator, said negative publicity about the drought could influence whether people choose to move to regional areas.

“I’m sure there are people now who are concerned about moving to the bush, regardless of whether that’s inland or on the coast, because of the narrative around water,” he said.

“But in every community we are working hard to secure more water.”

Mr McTavish said he is working on water security in about 85 towns across NSW. “In all those places there is a risk they will be in critical water shortage in the next 12 months,” he said.

The Morrison government’s efforts to encourage migrants to settle outside the big cities ares are expected to intensify as the new regional migration visa comes into effect. Under the conditions of the visas, migrants must remain in their designated regional area for three years before being able to apply for permanent residency. The visas will be run through businesses, industry groups and local councils.

A Senate inquiry heard seven local councils in Victoria, South Australia, NSW, Western Australia and Queensland have been granted sponsorship powers.

Federal Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese said the federal government needs to adopt measures that make a practical difference on the ground for struggling farmers.

“What we need at the moment is the immediate concerns addressed, where we have farmers literally walking off their properties. Where we have real issues confronting farmers in terms of mental health.”

with Jenny Noyes

Matt Wade

Matt Wade is a senior economics writer at The Sydney Morning Herald.

Eryk Bagshaw

Eryk Bagshaw is an economics correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, based at Parliament House in Canberra

SOURCE: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/day-zero-water-supplies-in-regional-towns-will-impact-on-sydney-s-population-20191020-p532hg.html

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THE GOLD COAST Wants to be Classified as ‘REGIONAL’ to bring in More MIGRANTS!

VIEW the analysis by the Unconventional Economist and CAAN’s comments!

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2019/10/20/population-ponzi-destroys-gold-coast-but-universities-demand-more/?fbclid=IwAR35QQvV2fq59TPc0A2LB1Nct1n1sNkVQ43wah0RQN4N356DPmyuZ45fIPo

The Gold Coast wants to be classified as ‘regional’ to bring in more migrants

01:21 / 01:21

VIDEO LINK:

blob:https://www.sbs.com.au/4bcfdb73-605b-4041-8b43-00603033c2e6

The Gold Coast is lobbying to be reclassified from ‘metro’ to ‘regional’ under Australia’s migration system in order to bring in more skilled migrants and international students.

But some say the city already has enough advantage.

BY ROSEMARY BOLGERSHARE

The Gold Coast wants to be reclassified as a regional area so it can boost its number of skilled migrants and international students.

The south-east Queensland city is classed as ‘metro’ under the federal government’s migration program, alongside Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. 

That means the Gold Coast won’t benefit from new visas and incentives set to be introduced next month as part of the federal government’s push to ease congestion in the cities and encourage migrants and international students to go regional.

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Gold Coast universities say they’ll be disadvantaged if international student incentives do not apply to them.Getty

With a population half that of Adelaide, which is considered regional, tertiary institutions in the Gold Coast argue the definition is unfair.

Study Gold Coast chief executive Alfred Slogrove said the city only attracted four per cent of the international student market, compared to Melbourne and Sydney which are home to about 85 per cent of international students.

“We have less than Adelaide, we have the equivalent of other parts of the country that are deemed regional in terms of international student numbers.

“We’re not looking to be treated differently, we’re just looking to be treated the same when it comes to international education.”

Study Gold Coast CEO Alfred Slogrove

Alfred Slogrove says the city only has four per cent of the international student market.SBS News

From November, international students who graduate from a regional university will be able to work for an extra year in Australia. There will also be 1,000 scholarships worth $15,000 available every year to international students in regional areas.

Study Gold Coast, a consortium of tertiary education providers including Bond and Griffith universities, has submitted a business case to Immigration Minister David Coleman in a bid to change its classification before then.READ MORE

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan.

Universities urged to not rely on international students for revenue

“We need the incentives to help us attract us the best quality talent here to the coast that support all different types of the economy including visiting family and relatives to our tourism market. They also help local businesses globalise,” Mr Slogrove said.

Bond University student Boula Benyamin from Canada said being able to stay in Australia for longer post-degree would make a difference to his decision on where to study.

“Every day you think about do I want to stay here to work, how’s working here going to affect me? Such a beautiful place, it’s a place you want to stay … so that would be a great opportunity.”

Bond University student Boula Benyamin moved from Canada to study on the Gold Coast.

Bond University student Boula Benyamin moved from Canada to study on the Gold Coast.

For other students, the Gold Coast lifestyle is incentive enough.

“Life here is more relaxed, it’s more chill and big cities always busy, crowded,” says Yama from China.

“I love here, I don’t want to go anywhere else.”

Universities in the area fear they are already being disadvantaged, as education agents begin spruiking the new incentives and encouraging prospective students to look elsewhere.

Gold Coast accused of ‘gaming’ the system

Boasting gleaming high rises along beautiful beaches, the Gold Coast does not fit with traditional images of regional Australia.

The Gold Coast’s campaign has highlighted difficulties in drawing the boundary between regional and metro as the government tries to simplify the definition for visas. 

Regional education expert John Halsey accuses the Gold Coast of trying to “game” the system, arguing the federal government’s definition when it comes to international students is already too broad.READ MORE

Backpackers at Melbourne Airport

Soaring temporary migrant numbers outstrip Morrison’s ‘congestion busting’ cut

“To classify Adelaide as regional per se in terms of the definition has a distorting impact on the policy.”

Professor Halsey, who conducted a review into regional, rural and remote education for the federal government in 2017, said if the government wants to achieve its aim of not simply easing congestion in the major cities, but using international students to stimulate struggling country areas, they need to tighten the boundaries.

“So that the definition doesn’t become gamed, if you like, or significantly distorted and the net result is that those that already have an advantage or degree of privilege and a degree of capacity to attract, are further advantaged compared to what I want to call ‘more authentic’ or ‘bonafide regional locations’.”

‘Blurry line’

The Gold Coast’s population of 600,000 has been steadily growing over the last few years, by 2.6 per cent in 2018. 

Mr Coleman said it significantly outstrips the Australia average growth of 1.6 per cent. 

He told SBS News in a statement the Gold Coast’s metropolitan status had not changed as part of the government’s decision to replace four different definitions currently in use for different skilled migration visas with one simpler definition. 

“The Gold Coast has been classified as part of metropolitan Australia under the core skilled migration program since 1993 when the classification of parts of Australia as regional or non-regional for skilled migration began,” he said. 

Immigration Minister David Coleman

Immigration Minister David Coleman wants to simplify the definition of ‘regional’ for a range of visas.AAP

But a closer look at the statistics paints a different picture, says Regional Australia Institute co-chief executive Kim Houghton.

“It’s a blurry line,” he said. “Clearly the Gold Coast is right up the metro city end of that regional city spectrum but it does have many of the characteristics of a regional city rather than a capital metro.”

The definition not only applies to international student visas, but two new regional visas offering 23,000 places to prospective skilled migrant workers. If they live and work in a regional area for at least three years they will then be able to apply for permanent residency – the ultimate goal of many migrants.READ MORE

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge gives a speech during the official opening of the Western Sydney International Experience Centre, Luddenham, NSW, Monday, September 2, 2019. ( AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi) NO ARCHIVING

New Population Centre to investigate why migrants shun regions

The RAI has four classifications from rural to metro capital city, using measures such as the number of people employed in high wage-earning professional jobs, house prices and wages as differentiating factors.

On those measures, RAI is not surprised the Gold Coast is making a case for reclassification.

“They too are grappling with issues of trying to attract and retain more professionals, particularly tertiary qualified or highly skilled trades and technically qualified people so I think it makes a lot of sense,” Mr Houghton said.

Regional Australia Institute believes there are enough regional visas for all. 

“Only a slight difference to those flows will make quite a difference to the places out in regional Australia.”

He said the government should consider expanding the number of visas available if the policy proves effective at better dispersing the flow of international students.

Study Gold Coast’s business case argues the region needs to diversify its population pointing out that migrants from China and India, the main sources of migrants to Australia, tend not to settle in the Gold Coast. 

“The reasons for recent significant population growth in Melbourne and Sydney do not apply to the Gold Coast, so the Gold Coast is paying the international education price of the geographic classification system that appears ill-advised,” the document stated. 

Mr Slogrove doubted other smaller areas did not have the infrastructure to handle a significant increase in student numbers. 

“We just had the Commonwealth Games and we’ve got infrastructure in place to support growth in international student numbers,” he said.  

SOURCE: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-gold-coast-wants-to-be-classified-as-regional-to-bring-in-more-migrants

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