Migration, Pathway to Nation Building

Australia is a migrant nation and one of the world’s most successful multicultural societies, with over half the population born overseas or having at least one parent born overseas. Broad and inclusive migration has been a cornerstone of modern Australia’s social, cultural, and economic prosperity.

The role of migration in continuing to shape the nation is the focus of a new inquiry by the Joint Standing Committee on Migration. The Migration, Pathway to Nation Building inquiry will broadly examine how permanent migration contributes to nation building, cultural diversity and social cohesion, and acts as a strategic enabler of vibrant economies and socially sustainable communities.

Committee Chair, Maria Vamvakinou MP, says that the inquiry will complement the on-going Government review of the migration system, recently announced by the Minister for Home Affairs, by taking a ‘big picture’ view of migration and through hearing from wide sectors of the Australian community on how migration can continue to underpin Australia’s prosperity and growth.

‘The policy settings we put in place today will help shape the size and composition of Australia’s population for generations to come’, Ms Vamvakinou said. ‘That is why we must consider this issue carefully and get it right’.

‘As a nation, we need to do more to attract and retain the best people to contribute to the Australian economy in the face of fierce international competition for talent and severe labour shortages at home. We need to consider how migration can best contribute to cultural enrichment and social cohesion, and how we can strengthen pathways to permanent residency and citizenship for migrants and their families’, she said.

‘Migrants come to Australia with a wide array of life experiences, knowledge, skills, and unique perspectives. We need to think how we can enable migrants to leverage these attributes for their own betterment and fulfilment, and to contribute to the growth and resilience of the nation’, Ms Vamvakinou said.

Ms Vamvakinou encourages all interested individuals and groups to contribute their thoughts on this vital issue. Submissions to the inquiry are open until Monday 13 February 2023.

More details on the inquiry are available on the Committee website.

The terms of reference for the inquiry are as follows:

The Joint Standing Committee on Migration shall inquire into and report on Australia’s migration system, with reference to:

  1. The role of permanent migration in nation building, cultural diversity, and social cohesion;
  2. Immigration as a strategic enabler of vibrant economies and socially sustainable communities in our cities and regional hubs;
  3. Attraction and retention strategies for working migrants to Australia;
  4. Policy settings to strengthen skilled migrant pathways to permanent residency;
  5. Strengthening labour market participation and the economic and social contribution of migrants, including family and humanitarian migrants and the partners of working migrants;
  6. The role of settlement services and vocational training in utilising migrant experiences, knowledge, and opportunities; and
  7. Other related matters that may assist the inquiry.

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