Submission to the Productivity Commission's Issues Paper on Migrant Intake into Australia

The Business Council’s submission to the Productivity Commission inquiry into Australia's migrant intake argues that temporary and permanent migration are increasingly interconnected and both are needed to grow our economy. Effective policies for permanent and temporary migration are needed to meet Australia’s long-term objectives for a larger, secure and more prosperous nation.

The submission recommends that:

  • Migration policies should be informed by a National Population Strategy that explicitly sets out Australia’s long-term economic and population goals and the policies to manage population growth well.
  • The permanent migration program intake, set annually in the Federal Budget, should remain at least at current levels of 190,000 per annum, with two-thirds of the program continuing to be filled by skilled migrants.
  • 'Temporary Skilled’ migration should remain demand-driven and uncapped to ensure it remains highly responsive to the needs of the economy. Labour market testing is ineffective and should be abolished; other integrity measures are preferred.
  • The proposal raised by the Commission for a migrant pricing regime should not be adopted because it will reduce our ability to attract skilled migrants in an increasingly competitive global labour market. Australia’s national interest is best served by our existing demand-driven and selective approaches.