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Planning for Australia’s Future Population Policy Released

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has released Australia’s Future Population Policy.

The Government’s population policy includes:
1. Reducing the migration cap by 15% and incentivising more new migrants to settle outside the big cities where there are jobs and services

  • Reducing the migration ceiling from 190,000 to 160,000 places.
  • Introducing two new regional visas for skilled workers requiring them to live and work in regional Australia for three years before being able to access permanent residence. 23,000 places will be set aside for these regional visas.
  • Introducing new tertiary scholarships to attract Australian and international students to study in regional Australia ($15,000 scholarships will be available to more than 1000 domestic and international students each year).
  • Giving international students studying at regional universities access to an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa.

2. Busting congestion on our roads and trains.

  • Plan to better connect regional centres with fast rail.
  • Investing $75 billion in road, rail and air infrastructure across the country.
  • Investing more in congestion-busting infrastructure through the $1 billion Urban Congestion Fund.

3. Planning for the future by working more closely with state and territory governments to match infrastructure with local population need

  • Population management as a fixture of future COAG discussions with the adoption of a bottom-up approach
  • Continuing to deliver new City Deals and Regional Deals to ensure three levels of government working together
  • Establishing a Centre for Population, ensuring there is a central, consistent and expert perspective on population growth. The Centre will pursue opportunities to improve data and research on population and facilitate collaboration on population planning across Commonwealth, State, Territory and Local governments.

For more information, see the following link, https://www.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/planning-for-australias-future-population.pdf

Infrastructure Funding at Local Level needed in Planning for Population Growth

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed yesterday’s release by the Prime Minister of the Government’s approach to planning for Australia’s future population, noting that the document is an important step towards a better way of managing the nation’s population growth but that there needs to be a matching commitment to funding local infrastructure.

The document reiterates the Government’s commitment to continuing to engage with all level of Government, including local government, and its release comes at a time when the three levels of government are working together on population issues through a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) process initiated at the end of last year.

“Planning for population change and, in particular, finding the right balance between population growth in metropolitan and regional Australia is of vital interest to Local Government”, said the President of ALGA Mayor David O’Loughlin. “For several years ALGA has been calling for a population strategy which takes account of community needs and capacities and which can also guide investment in infrastructure and services through matched funding commitments.”

“The Government’s focus on regional population is important but it needs to be matched by a commitment to fund the local infrastructure and services necessary to attract and retain people. ALGA’s submission to the forthcoming Federal Budget and our Federal Election document propose a number of partnership initiatives between the Commonwealth and Local Government which we believe are necessary to improve the liveability and productivity required in regional Australia.”

“Currently, local government manages 33% of the nation’s public infrastructure, including 75% of Australia’s road length, with just 3.6% of the tax revenue and ALGA is calling for a fairer share for local communities so that they can unlock their potential.”

“We look forward to seeing how this year’s Federal Budget supports local governments in regional and growing communities deliver on vital infrastructure such as roads, bridges, digital technology and community infrastructure.”

Media enquiries:
Roz Chivers, Executive Director Policy & Research, Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), 0438 768 359, 02 6122 9414, Roslyn.Chivers@alga.asn.au