Business welcomes the Federal Government’s plan to manage population growth in a more coordinated way, Australia’s largest network of businesses, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said today, in response to the release of the population plan.
“We are disappointed by cuts to permanent migration, but we welcome the Government’s plan for a more coordinated approach to population planning, both within the Federal Government and between levels of Government,” Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson, said.
“In the Australian Chamber’s major policy statement on migration and population in December, Migration Works for all of Us, we called for better coordination in the development of policy that impacts population.
“We have also been urging the government, in the context of identifying the skills needed across the economy, to establish a strong labour market planning process involving State and Territory Governments and industry.
“The proposed National Population and Planning Framework has the potential to deliver on both of these important outcomes, and the new Centre for Population provides an opportunity for policy to be informed by evidence based on expert analysis.
“An evidence-based approach has to be the way forward for population planning and migration policy.
“If this approach had already been in place, we believe it would have strongly reinforced the importance of retaining a permanent cap at a higher level, and would have kept the settings around employer-sponsored skilled migration more flexible and responsive than they have become in the last few years.
“We urge the government to go a step further than what was announced today and commit to develop, through the COAG process, and in consultation with business and other key stakeholders, the principles on which the Framework should be based. That would go a long way to reinforce the benefits of migration and commitment to better coordination and defend the program against criticisms made without evidence.
“The strong statements in the Government’s Planning for Australia’s Future Population, including the benefits that migration has delivered to Australia along with the importance of ensuring investment in infrastructure keeps pace with our economic and population growth, should shape our future policy approaches.”