07 July 2006

Australia welcoming 158 new migrants a day

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More than 58,000 workers holding temporary skilled work visas arrived in Australia in the year to April, according to Immigration Department figures, The Australian reported.

More than 58,000 workers holding temporary skilled work visas arrived in Australia in the year to April, according to Immigration Department figures, The Australian reported.

The "flood" of workers has come despite union opposition, the paper says.

NSW accepted 23,000 workers, Victoria had 11,976 and Queensland 8,139, the department figures show. NSW Department of Health is the largest single sponsor and registered nurses are the largest occupation grouping.

Western Australia, enjoying a resource boom, took 13 per cent of the total - or about 7,732 workers.

In February, the states agreed to the streamlining of regulations covering foreign workers brought in to meet specific short-term skill shortages.

But federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley has since led federal Labor's campaign against increased skilled migration saying it drives wages down and reduces incentives to train Australians.

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