Coivd restrictions cause immigration to Australia to collapse

Coivd restrictions cause immigration to Australia to collapse, by Judith Sloan.

The international travel restrictions imposed since the beginning of February have severely curtailed the arrival here of anyone without permanent residence.

Net overseas migration (long-term arrivals over long-term departures), which hovered about 250,000 annually for more than a decade, is estimated to have collapsed about by 85 per cent. According to Scott Morrison, “we’re looking at net overseas migration falling to 34,000-odd”.

Judged by multiple surveys — Newspoll, the Lowy Poll, the Scanlon poll, Essential Research, the Australian Population Research Institute — this fall will be one outcome of the pandemic welcomed by most of us.

Sadly, it seems the federal government, which controls the migration program, is keen to resume high levels of migration as soon as possible. Migration has been about two-thirds of population growth and we have one of the highest rates of population growth among developed economies.

Industries that depends heavily on immigration — such as building and construction, and higher education — are hurting, but the rest of us rather like the slowdown.