Parliamentary regional migration inquiry felled by Covid-19

A Federal Parliamentary inquiry looking at how migrants might be encouraged to settle in regional Australia has been suspended because of immigration restrictions.

The Joint Standing Committee on Migration had cancelled public hearing in March due to the Covid-19 epidemic, but with no prospect of borders re-opening soon decided last week to wind up proceedings.

A report summarising evidence and submissions the committee received before March was published last week. It included reference to a submission by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA).

This stated: “International migrants provide stability to communities in regional Australia by offsetting population decline and the departure of young adults, as well as being essential to meeting work-force shortages.

“Some regional areas are already experiencing population growth and overseas-born residents are a significant, and in some cases, the only contributor to that growth. Regional migration can be a win-win scenario for new arrivals and host communities in the regions.”

The Local Government Association of Queensland and several councils also made submissions.