Australia considers banning new migrants from living in largest cities
Australia is considering banning some new migrants from living in its largest cities for âat least a few yearsâ, a government minister has said.
Alan Tudge, the minister for cities, urban infrastructure and population, said his government wants to limit the number of immigrants to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in order to reduce congestion in the countryâs three biggest cities.
Nearly 70 per cent of the 186,000 migrants who settled in Australia last year arrived on skilled migrant visas, and nearly all moved to Sydney or Melbourne, according to government data.
The new plan would affect the roughly 40 per cent of migrants who have the desired skills and are looking for work on arrival.
It would class five cities â" Darwin, Perth, Hobart, Adelaide and Canberra â" as regional centres for migrants to settle in.
âWe aim to ease the population pressure off the three big cities and more rapidly grow the smaller states and regions,â Mr Tudge said during a speech in Melbourne.
The minister did not provide details on how the policy would be enforced, but said it could include incentives.
âYou can also put conditions on peopleâs visas as well to stay in a particular area for at least a few years,â he said.
But he said some categories of immigrants would be exempt from geographic blocks.
Migrants who were sponsored by employers would be able to work where employers need them and those on family reunion visas, typically a foreigner marrying an Australian, would also be free to live where they chose, he added.
There are currently no limits on where people can settle after they receive a skilled migrant visa.