The Prime Minster this week announced the government’s new population plan. Here he writes for news.com.au about how it will impact you.
Mums and dads picking up their kids from child care or school this afternoon — they know it.
Tradies watching the minutes tick by not getting paid while they can’t get to the job site — they know it.
Commuters standing on the train for over an hour on your way home — they know it.
The congestion that will clog the roads in our capital cities later today, and frankly, almost everyday and all day, feels worse than ever.
But just an hour or two outside of places like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth — in our regional centres and even places like Adelaide and Darwin — there’s more than 40,000 job vacancies and towns crying out for more workers, skills and students.
Those twin challenges of busting congestion and growing our smaller cities and regions where it’s wanted are at the heart of the plan for Australia’s future population my government unveiled this week.
So we all know the problems. We live them everyday and to be frank, they aren’t new challenges. So what are we doing about it?
1. We’re reducing the migration intake by 30,000 people each year and we’ll introduce new visas and incentives for skilled workers to move to our regional towns and cities that need them. That includes more attractive permanent residence options, as well as scholarships and extra work rights for students who study at regional universities.
2. We’re making a record $75 billion investment in congestion busting infrastructure across the country. Our pause to the current rate of migration and better distribution of skills, combined with that investment in infrastructure means our roads, rail and public transport can catch up to what our communities.
3. We’ve committed to the first “ground up” approach to population that will ensure every level of government works together to plan for our future. We’ve made it a standing item on our regular meeting of all levels of government and we’re setting up a new Centre for Population to act as a central place to help with the data and information we need to plan for the future.
4. We’re backing a range of community engagement programs that will help ensure that when new Australians settle here, they have the language and skills they need to succeed.
So as you can see, preparing for our future population isn’t just about our migration levels.
We need to ready ourselves on a number of fronts. Australia is the most successful immigration nation in the world. But to keep it that way, we need to work through the solutions to help our cities that often can feel like they’re bursting at the seams, and the smaller towns hunting for more workers.
Our plan, working across all levels of government, will ensure Australia continues to be the envy of the world for our economy and our lifestyle.
Is this the right way to deal with congestion? Tell the PM what you think in the comments below