27 September 2012

Australian immigration to stabilise economy says IMF

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As commodity prices continue to fall after their peak last year, the International Monetary Fund says the country will need to rely on other aspects to continue their economic success, particularly Australian immigration.

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The IMF says Australian immigration can allow the country's economy to continue to grow.

In a report published after an inspection by officials, the IMF claim using Australian immigration will ensure the country's workforce can be flexible and mobile enough to manage a country the size of Australia.

As mining projects become more permanently established in remote areas of Australia, the IMF say temporary and permanent skilled migration will be essential in allowing workers to be employed on the projects.

The report says Australia's increased reliance on the mining industry exposes the economy to greater volatility thanks to unpredictable market conditions.

"The floating exchange rate may offset some of the effects of this volatility, along with the counter cyclical operation of fiscal policy allowed in the current medium term fiscal strategy," reads the report. "But it offers little help in terms of mitigating asymmetric effects on different industries and regions within the country."

The IMF claim the Australian economy’s ability to continue to grow will depend on the assimilation of overseas workers into other industries also in need of workers.

"Their ability to do so will again be tested when investment in the resources sector comes off its peak and some labour currently employed there is to be absorbed by the rest of the economy."

Leonie Cotton, casework manager at the Australian Visa Bureau, says the huge influence of the mining boom has detracted attention from other industries in Australia.

"Thousands of people, both Australians and overseas workers, have flocked to the mines in the past couple of years. But as new mines stop popping up everywhere and the workforces at current mines stabilise, other industries stand to benefit," said Ms Cotton.

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