9th April 2013
Immigration has long been etched into the heart of Australia and despite growing concerns from some people; it is still set to play a big part in the country’s future.
At least, that’s what current Prime Minister Julia Gillard intends to do as she unveiled her views on the subject as the election race gains momentum.
The PM mentioned that whilst there would be a crackdown on foreign workers receiving visas in the long haul, the party would continue to support skilled migrants into entering the country.
Immigration numbers have grown throughout the last couple of years with 228,000 people being granted visas over the past year.
This number has rose at an increasing rate since Gillard first came into power back in 2010 when only 176,000 migrants entered the country during that previous year.
It means that by 2050, the Australian population could reach an estimated 40 million which is 5 million more than what was first predicted when Gillard took over in 2010.
Despite the rise in numbers, the PM has been quick to defend her actions and has said that immigration will help boost the country’s economy further down the line. In a statement made to The Foreign Correspondents Association, she said “We will continue in the years to come in my view to be a nation that welcomes migrants and particularly welcomes skilled migrants, and we continue to operate quite a sizeable immigration program”
“In terms of estimating population numbers for the future, I’m not one that says you need to set a target. I think what you’ve got to do is manage your migration program in line with your nation’s needs, which means that there will always be some year-by-year adjustment,” she added.
There have been numerous concerns growing over immigration in recent months following on several high-profile incidents involving refugees who try to sail from Asia to Australia undetected.
It has led to the government re-instating asylum centres on Nauru and Christmas Island to help process those waiting on possible visa applications.
Despite the incidents, Gillard has maintained that the constant influx of immigrants into Australia will help the country grow and remain a major player on the international scene for some time to come.
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