14 May 2008

Immigration boost demanded by Australia business

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The former head of Victorian Labour, in Australia, has told the Rudd government to increase immigration to meet the country's skills shortages. Steve Bracks has made the suggestion, which a survey shows would be supported by almost half of the industry, reports the Australian.

Research by Roy Morgan Research found that 45 per cent of the participants at the Australian Davos Connection Future Summit would support increasing the annual intake of migrants by 25,000 a year for five years. The topic became a hotly debated issue at the summit in Sydney.

Mr Bracks told the newspaper that people on Australia visas from the surrounding Asia-Pacific region should be allowed to stay for up to three years. He added that the time had come for the expansion of both skilled and unskilled immigration in order to boost the country's economy. The news comes as Senator Chris Evans, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, has revealed that the number of places for skilled immigrants will be increased by 30 per cent in 2008-09.

Australia needs skilled workers: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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