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Australia may cut migrant flow

Australia may cut down the intake of migrants to the country if the local unemployment rate increases in the backdrop of the global financial crisis , a federal minister said on Sunday.

world Updated: Oct 27, 2008 00:35 IST

Australia may cut down the intake of migrants to the country if the local unemployment rate increases in the backdrop of the global financial crisis , a federal minister said on Sunday.

According to reports here, Federal Immigration Minister Chris Evans said that the opposition is calling on the Government to scale back its migration programme immediately, if unemployment rate increases in face of the global economic crisis.

Chris said that the government will take a final call on the issue only after the mid-year financial data is released next month.

“Clearly if the demand for labour comes off you’d adjust the migration programme accordingly,” he said.
In Australia, migrants contribute immensely to the economy and solve the problem of shortage of skilled labour in certain industries, which has always plagued the country.

“But there are still industries with strong demand for labour and we’ll just have to talk to industry and make a judgement about what the appropriate level will be,” the federal minister said.

However, supporting the migration of foreign labour to the country Chris said, “What we know is that most migrants have better job outcomes than Australians locally, we know that they consume, they buy property, and they’re a net positive to the Budget.

“And a lot of the skills that are coming in at the moment are in the mining sector, which has allowed us to increase our exports,” he explained.

More than 190,000 immigrants are expected to arrive in Australia in the year 2008-2009 with skilled workers accounting for the maximum as the down under country battles chronic labour shortages in some sectors.