‘Migrants to the bush’ exposed as visa system gamed

By Leith van Onselen

Over the past year or so, I have ridiculed the new found push by Coalition politicians towards decentralisation, noting that this is a pipe dream based on the settlement pattern of new migrants, which have overwhelmingly chosen to flood the major cities.

My view was initially based on data from the Productivity Commission’s 2016 Migrant Intake into Australia report, which revealed that 86% of immigrants lived in the major cities of Australia in 2011 (mostly Sydney and Melbourne), whereas only 65% of the Australian-born population did:

ScreenHunter_17913 Mar. 13 16.00

However, it was confirmed by the 2016 Census, which revealed identical results, with 86% of new migrants (1.11 million) in the five years to 2016 settling in Australia’s cities, versus just 14% (187,000) that settled in Australia regional areas over the same period.

As noted by the ABS:

In 2016, Sydney had the highest overseas-born population of all capital cities (1,773,496), followed by Melbourne (1,520,253) and Perth (702,545). The 2016 Census also reveals that those born overseas were more likely to live in a capital city (83%), a much higher percentage than people born in Australia.

The concentration of migrants into the cities has become even more extreme recently, with just 6% settling in Australia’s regions in 2017-18, according to the Department of Home Affairs, and 86% of skilled migrants settling in just Sydney and Melbourne alone. Indeed, regional migration approvals hit a decade low in 2017-18 at the same time as population growth (immigration) into Sydney and Melbourne has boomed.

State-based migration programs have also been systemically gamed, with migrants temporarily settling in places like the ACT and Tasmania purely to get the required number of points for permanent residency before moving to Sydney and Melbourne.

Today, further evidence of this rorting has emerged with SBS News reporting that some Indian migrants have been gaming Australia’s regional visa scheme by pretending to live in regional areas while actually living in the major capitals, as well as clogging-up Australia’s court system in a bid to extend their stays:

Mr Singh* arrived in Australia in 2007 on a student visa and in 2012 was granted a 487 visa which provides a pathway to permanent residency after living in a Specified Regional Area in Australia for at least two years and working full time for one year.

In July 2015, Mr Singh applied for an 887 permanent residency visa but a delegate of the then-titled Minister for Immigration and Border Protection refused to grant him the visa stating they were not satisfied Mr Singh had lived at two addresses in Wodonga between February 2013 to 2015, as he had claimed… an anonymous informant told the department that Mr Singh was living and working illegally in Melbourne.

The department learnt through the anonymous informant that Mr Singh was not working for the nominating employer in the regional area and had in fact paid money to the employer in exchange for not notifying the immigration officials…

A friend of Mr Singh who claimed to have lived with him and did the same thing (ie, claimed to live in a regional area while working in Melbourne)…

Mr Singh took the matter to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) of Australia which further found discrepancies in the payslips and bank records and late payment of superannuation…

The AAT upheld the department’s decision following which Mr Singh applied for a judicial review with the Federal Court of Australia.

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia accepted Mr Singh’s argument and observed the Tribunal had not arrived at its decision independently of the anonymous information.

The matter did not end here. The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection appealed this decision and it was allowed on Tuesday where The Court found that the anonymous information was accurate in respects that rendered critical aspects of Mr Singh’s evidence unable to be accepted.

With all three major parties wedded to the policy of mass immigration and a ‘Big Australia’, decentralisation is the only hope of easing the pressures on the big cities.

But how realistic is this goal? Short of erecting ‘migrant proof fences’ and electronic tags, how can decentralisation of migrants be achieved in practice when it has failed so dismally in the past, and has been systematically gamed?

The reality is that maintaining mass immigration means that Sydney and Melbourne will continue to be crush-loaded as their populations swell to around 10 million people each by 2066, placing extreme further pressure on infrastructure and housing, and destroying living standards for incumbent residents.

Australians don’t want policy gimmicks. They want the immigration intake to be slashed.

[email protected]

Unconventional Economist

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.


  1. This is exactly what I’ve been describing. Fake regional residences and fake regional employment.

    And an “industry” of sorts, where people are being paid to manufacture evidence of such residence and employment.

    I depress myself with my accuracy sometimes. Most of the time, actually.

    • Sounds like you need a bit of wild inaccuracy in your life to lift your spirits. I suggest reading the Guardian for a while. You’ll be chortling like a maniac before you know it.

      • @Mediocritas

        She’s not there until she makes a pencil magically disappear.
        *shifts uneasily, eyeing the quickest and shortest path to the exit door*

      • Make sure you maintain eye contact as you head for the door, Ino. You certainly don’t want to turn your back.

    • “And an “industry” of sorts, where people are being paid to manufacture evidence of such residence and employment. “

      Look on the bright side, we do have a manufacturing industry in Australia!

    • This is good. More aussie jobs to house sit in fake residences. Wn-win, solves the housing problem and creates jobs.

    • Yep but what they fail to uncover was that the .gov knew all along this was the case…. and used regional immigration to boost and sugar coat the immigration, obviously to plug the mouth of those shouting against.

      No rort or scheme in this country exists without the nod of the .gov
      Correction “without .gov being major part in it”

  2. That 86% figure from 2011 would be way out of date and far too low. I would believe something like 97% now.

    • your figures are way too optimistic.
      Why would anyone go to the fartmost corner of the world and chose the life similar to one in the county of origin?

      When life outside metro areas becomes interesting to those born and raised in those areas (first) and also to those born and raised in national metro areas… well.. immigrants will follow.

  3. Wodonga isn’t even remotely “The Bush”. With Albury, its a city of roughly 100,000 people, with a broad economy.

    The fact this parasite couldn’t even be bothered to make a go of it in such a place tells you a lot about the kind of migrants we are currently attracting. He’s not here to put down roots or become Australian, just extracting as much out of this country as he can.

    • And the folks who come from countries with overpopulated crush-loaded cities seem determined to make Sydney and Melbourne into their likeness

      • Pushiness, no manners, walking in groups on pavements without consideration of others, death staring or ignoring, talking loudly on phones.

  4. What do we expect when we import largely from two of the most corrupt nations on Earth? Pina-colada-sipping, tax paying, law abiding, ethical, shinny happy people?

    • Blame the immigration program, not the immigrants as a class. It is the easiest trap to fall into. Sure a number of them have rorted, but a vast majority is here legally because they believe they can have a chance at a better life. It is detrimental to everyone, immigrants and locals alike, when an excessive number of immigrants arrive in a short span of time. This is the argument that locals and even most immigrants understand and indeed, do support, myself included.

      Blaming immigrants as a group is the easiest way to self-harm this argument, and unnecessarily turn it into a social and cultural supremacy issue. I wish MB commenters recognise this fine line, which has been crossed far too often these days, and look more closely at how the locals vote, and if they hold politicians and regulators accountable.

      • We need to vent given the government and all major parties are doing nothing about it. We can’t say anything at work about New Arrivals talking in their native-tongues at their desk and in the common areas; we can’t say anything on social media otherwise we are brandished as ‘racist’ (when it’s not a race we have an issue with but a culture); we can’t even say it down at the pub or a cafe with our mates in case we are being recorded (to then go up on social media and be brandished racists), we can’t say it at schools or universities (otherwise we are dubbed ‘difficult’ and ‘showing our privilege’). Please let us have one space where we can be honest.

      • The recent cohort of arrivals, who I have worked with, exhibit poor behaviors (far worse then the locals, including migrants from previous years). There is laziness, cheating, unethical work practices, dishonesty, unable to work with others, unable to help others (but always seeking the help of others when they haven’t done their work), and in a lot of instances, no interest in speaking with others at work (talking in their own language at their desk and during their lunch breaks).

      • @nikm / that’s a common attitude / platitude.

        “It’s not the migrants themselves – they are just poor oppressed seeking a better life & it’s just a volume issue etc”.

        We should ‘Blame the government’ & ‘Blame ourselves’

        But how about sheeting home some responsibility also to the foreign governments & foreign criminal syndicates that colluded to dump over 4 million third world ammoral non assimilating useless unskilled into Australia?

        And how about each & every one of these migrants individually who lied, cheated, paid bribes or otherwise frauded their way into Australia as also ‘responsible’.

        And when here, each & every one who continued to exploit Australian generosity & goodwill by working illegally, stealing Australia jobs, living illegally, being part of the foreign run onshore underground, making no effort to assimilate, remained in their world bubble enclaves and aggressively & criminally exploiting our health care & welfare?

        And to then act as an anchor to bring in even more like them and the rest of their third world burden?

        ➡️ Don’t they have some individual & collective responsibility as well?
        It’s not just a volume or absorption issue.
        It’s a quality & morality issue as well.

        Australia has run one of the world’s largest, most open, most porous and most trusting immigration policies for well over a decade now.

        Whereas the rest of the world has either acted far more sensibly or understood the dangers in economic & social impact.

        Our nativity and foolishness has resulted in Australia become a default for the third world to actively export and dump their underclass, undesirables, misfits & criminals into Australia.

        So yes – we can blame ‘Australia’ and ‘Australians’ for being well intentioned, naive and gullible.
        That’s all correct.

        But look at what came in and the drivers behind that as well as the migrants themselves in attitude & behaviour.

        1.9 million PR, 78% useless unskilled or dependents,.
        A burden on Australia for the next 4 decades.
        Low productivity, 2nd & even 3rd generation non assimilation, can’t speak English after 20 years, living in Chinese, Indian or Middle Eastern jihadi enclaves.
        Their children can’t speak English or not willing to identify with being Australian.
        Again that is the rule, not the exception.

        Then add on 2.2 million TR – 85% third world, carefully filtered by our broken border & visa system to be the most immoral willing participants to enter on a pretext visa to work illegally in the vast foreign run migrant criminal underground.
        ($140 billion – 9% of our economy – the largest migrant guestworker sub economy of any OECD country per ratio of pop or overall GDP) Destroying GDP per Capita, destroying wages, destroying housing, destroying productivity.
        At least 1 million in blatant visa breach.
        How about they take some ‘responsibility’ for their own actions & behaviour?

        We now have more migrant guestworkers than Gaddafi at his peak. And Gaddafi didn’t have over half working illegally paying no tax and a negative GDP impact.

        Then add on 1.3 million Tourist/visitors at any one time (8.8 million a year) dominated by 440,000 or so Indians Chinese & south East Asians on long stay & repeat visas, only here to work illegally.
        They enter Australia knowing & willing participants to work illegally & then many (165,000) make false protection claims to stay up to another 5 years,
        How about they also take some ‘responsibility’?

        Our education system is now destroyed as it prostituted itself as a visa alibi. Fallen 10 places globally. The right to a quality affordable education denied to Australians.
        How about some of the 672,000 foreign students and partners – 75% or 505,000 working illegally in visa breach and doing sham courses ‘take responsibility’

        How about the 140,000 skilled visa / dependents or the heavily frauded 140,000 sham backpackers 90% in the two main cities paying farmer & labor ring bribes to work illegally & make false visa extension claims also ‘take some responsibility’?

        Our cities – Sydney – 1.3 million migrant guestworkers, 1 in 4 people – a swath of migrant only enclaves from the south to way out west.
        Congestion, third world squalor, non assimilation, widespread third world visa trafficking.

        Our housing affordability & standard of living destroyed. Mass conversion of low level Australian housing into migrant only cram sub let cash in hand (400,000 plus dwelling) bought with dirty foreign syndicate money washed thru migrant PR proxies to house the 4 million migrant PR & TR living illegally, paying cash, knowingly rorting the FIRB, declared rental income & negative gearing schemes by tens of billions.

        116,000 Australian homeless. 360,000 denied affordable housing. 1.1 million unemployed.

        Do the migrant guestworkers care about this or ‘feel responsible’ as they flood out of Town Hall station and swirl around or step over the Australian homeless who’s jobs, housing they stole?

        We have a Chinese intake totally dominated by Hukou misfits & internal pass system illegals who are being actively dumped into Australia by the Chinese criminal syndicates & their government.
        We didn’t get the best of brightest Chinese, or those wanting to be Australian – 396,000 still remain as PR and communist China 🇨🇳 First. Sucking up welfare & lending out that freshly printed Medicare Card to their Tourist Visitors who pay to do the ‘Australian health care trip’, get the PBS drugs & take them back to China to sell in funding their trip.
        Do they ‘feel responsible’? They should.

        The underclass of the Indian petty criminal class & rural poor with fake doc, fake health checks who bribed, lied and thieved their way in. Every loophole and entry point extensively frauded, with a willing Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Nepalese etc government assisting in the bribes, agent procurer fees and ‘remittances income that will go back.
        We didn’t get the best or brightest Indians etc. We get the Indians & others who paid large bribes, fraud their way in, and secure the PR anchor to then monetarise & charge the next layer in chain migration.
        How do they feel about it?

        We got an entire underclass of Thai & Filipino, Taiwan & Korean end of life sex workers and their pimps.
        As the mayor of Seoul noted as Australia being the hooker dumping ground. Isaan province in Thailand the remittances from the Thai sex workers in Australia posing as ‘students’ or ‘visitors’ is now second only to rice crop income.
        Any moral qualms there about how they got into Australia & their activities?

        The Middle Eastern criminals and all their baggage.
        The African war criminals & corrupt, bribing or threatening their way to the head of the UNHCR queue, or racketeering the family sponsorship or spousal visas in chain migration.
        All on display in our Sydney Westen suburbs.
        Do they feel any guilt or responsibility?

        We don’t have a high quality moral assimilating migrant intake.
        We don’t get the best or brightest.
        We took in the third world detrius & scrapings that can’t get into any other first world country (barring NZ which is even more gullible and is the bac k door to get into Australia). And even NZ has woken up on this, the answer being to grant them NZ citizenship and then they will exit to enter Australia on a NZ SCV (as 90% do).

        At least with the English convicts sent to Australia, they were petty criminals being given a second chance & contributing to the building of a new nation.

        The third world petty criminals and underclass we have let into Australia have no such intention of improving themselves or contributing to Australia.

        They are & will remain Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Nepalese South East or North Asian, Arab, etc.
        They will breed a 2nd & 3rd generation underclass that has no intention of being Australian, making an economic or social contribution.
        It is a quite different intake & we see that future rejection of being part of Australia and Australian already in their 2nd generation here.

        Our filters were set to allow the third world ammoral, non productive, non assimilating, the individual who could steal an Australian job in visa breach to repay agent procurer loan debt & send back remittances, to then fraudulently become a PR, to take advantage of our generosity, goodwill- and that’s what we got.

        Well intentioned Australian naivety, a greedy real estate, education & employer groups in self interest & the open borders left wing elitists & multiculturalists who thought any intake, no matter how poor quality – it should be forced on the Australian people.
        No one has been given a choice, vote or a referendum on either our migrant intake volume or quality.

        And the majority of Australians – including many of the new migrant PR who have seen their jobs, wages, housing & standards of living decimated by the 2.4 million TR & 440,000 or so illegally working Tourist Visitors are now very opposed to all this continuing.

        Who else is to blame apart from ‘Australia’ and ‘Australians’ ?

        ▪️How about the migrant lobby groups that bribed & threatened Australian to continue & expand this intake.
        They all knew it was a criminal & socially undesirable underclass coming in. Ask any of the Indians, Chinese, Thai’s, Koreans, Bangladeshi, Arabs, Malays or other migrants that were much earlier wave arrivals.
        They all knew our visas & border controls were being corrupted by a bad intake, resulting in an onshore migrant underclass of 4.2 million of the worst the third world could dump into Australia to be our burden.

        ▪️How about the many foreign governments such as China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia & the Middle East who knowingly colluded with their foreign criminal syndicates to assist in the migrant trafficking industry of their underclass & undesirables into Australia.

        ▪️And the vast majority of these migrants (the rule rather than the exception) are also ‘responsible’.

        They each individually lied, cheated, paid bribes, deceived and exploited our visa system and goodwill to create the problem we have.

        That’s where the broader ‘responsibility’ is.

  5. The Indians are the biggest rorters in Australian immigration history. No MSM will say so tho because of the fear of being called racist.

    • Try this on


      An Indian man who repeatedly lied on various visa and citizenship applications was caught and his citizenship was revoked by the then-Minister of Immigration Peter Dutton.

      Now, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia (AAT) has set aside Dutton’s decision and said that the man is entitled to have the revocation of his Australian citizenship reversed.

      Randeep Singh Waraich, who lives with his wife and two children and runs his own business in Melbourne, first arrived in Australia on a student visa in 1998.

      He called himself Amardeep Singh then. Four years later in 2002 he left Australia as an unlawful non-citizen after overstaying his bridging visa.

      In India, he changed his name to Randeep Singh after consulting an astrologer who advised him to change his name to one starting with the letter ‘R’ for better luck.

      He also married Preet Waraich and when the couple decided to come to Australia, he applied as a dependent on his wife’s student visa without revealing his past in Australia.

      He came back to Australia in 2004 as Randeep Singh.

      Two years later, in 2006, he was granted a permanent visa in his wife’s skilled migration application as a dependent.

      In March 2009, he changed his name as Randeep Singh Waraich and in November of the same year became an Australian citizen by conferral.

      Mr Singh did not declare his previous name or immigration history when he started his new life in Australia as Randeep and went on to become an Australian citizen.
      Caught out

      In 2012 VicRoads discovered that photos on licenses for Amardeep Singh and Randeep Singh Waraich were of the same person and they referred the matter to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

      Mr Singh accepted his wrongdoing before the Immigration Department, pleaded guilty and was convicted on charges relating to his having knowingly made false statements on a citizenship application and producing an official document containing false or misleading statements.


      Mr Singh said he regretted his actions.

      “I regret my actions that lead to these convictions, and the consequences that my actions have had on my wife and children,” he said.

      “I wish I could take back my decisions and I am ashamed of my decisions and I sincerely apologise for my actions.”


      In the end, the judge weighed all aspects and chose to set aside the Immigration Minister’s decision.

      “I accept that his remorse and regret are genuine and deeply felt.”

      “My analysis leads me inevitably to the conclusion that the decision under review must be set aside.

      “Accordingly, I set aside the decision under review and substitute a decision that the Applicant is entitled to have the revocation of his Australian citizenship reversed,”

      WHAT THE ACTUAL FVCK???????????????????????????????????

      • So he gave false information in his second application? So if he had stated the truth, he would not have been granted the second visa and subsequent residency. Deport him.

      • Plus the tax-payer funded SBS Hindi gets out the message to the Indian community, keep rorting because Australia is a soft touch.

      • Wow – the real question here is how in a million years did VicRoads have the capability to detect the image on two differently-named licenses were of the same indian bloke !?

      • @bendy: they have a rudimentary fraud unit that does manual checks on high risk applicants (for which read migrants). If a DOB, gender and country and place of birth match they will manually look at the photos when they get round to it. This filthy lying scum was too dumb (or cheap) to bribe the officials in India to change these details, he only changed his name.

        This came out when another citizen of that fine upstanding country changed his name to that of a (real) Doctor and came out here and started practising medicine (totally unqualified) under the name of the innocent party and was subsequently struck off. At any rate, the above background is how things were described to me when that case was discussed in medical circles, 4th hand via a medical admin person who had to give multiple statements to the police.


        Get a load of this gem from the NSW Health report into the fiasco:

        His integrity became an issue at Hornsby in that he did not tell the truth when reporting patients’ conditions and treatment to his supervising consultants, apparently to cover up knowledge deficits and “save face”. The supervisors interviewed by the inquiry recalled this was a problem with many international graduates and most thought he was no worse than others they supervised.

        Apparently all his countrymen told as many lies as he did, so he just, you know, fitted right in.!!

        Anyhoo, I digresseth much.

        Suffice it to say that the thousands of Indians walking around Melbourne and Sydney who should not be here but who were smart enough to bribe officials in their home towns to alter their details a bit more thoroughly have nothing to worry about – it is not high end AI or anything like that.

        It does seem that it is mainly done to forge University qualifications to get visa points, not to hide past deportations like this.

    • Sat in a coffee shop a year ago and listened to what I assumed was a migration consultant coaching two Indians to lie to immigration.

    • If it’s just a matter of numbers (we need x amount of migrants for a magical GDP number), surely we could get a better sort of migrant?

      Or are we obliged to take as many Indians and Chinese to keep the trade deals with these countries going?

  6. The real underlying problem is not Fake regional residencies but rather Fake regional Value Propositions.
    Ask anyone that has lived in Regional or Rural Australia where the future lies and they’ll tell you that that it’s not here in (insert Regional location WA/kimberly possibly excluded)
    Ask the graduating class of any regional high school about their longer term ambitions and at least 75% will start off their list with moving to either Sydney or Melbourne.
    Nobody but nobody sees real enduring / increasing value in our regional centers. Look at the forced move of the pesticides regulator to Armidale …talk about an epic fail.
    Our regions need to develop real value propositions and our politicians need to understand and embrace (read fund) these ambitions Today the funding all flows from the regions towards the cities in part due to imbalances in the forces setting exchange rates that prevent our farmers / rural workers from enjoying proper rewards for their work. (Aussie Capital account flows are dwarfing our Agriculture Current Account flows and thereby impoverishing the regions).
    Against these capital flows, which systemically distort the value of human labour, you’re wondering why immigrants (especially skilled immigrants) aren’t ignoring reality and moving to the bush….maybe it’s because they’re smart enough to see what’s really going on.

    • Agreed – they can stuff as many imports as they like into the regions but if there are no jobs its not going to work.

      • It goes way beyond jobs. Jobs are easy to create and there are Plenty of make work job schemes in Regional areas. These “junk jobs” only serve to further distort the picture by sort of absorbing the most capable people and leaving free enterprise (that which is not on the govt payroll) to make do with the rest. In this sense it is exactly the opposite to whats needed in Regional Australia.
        We need businesses with really strong business cases that are linked to Regional specialization. for example you find exactly this specialized knowledge economy in towns in Regional Germany.
        Scratch the surface and you’ll discover that some tiny German town leads the world in some aspect of Engineering or Commerce or or or.
        As an example dose anyone know (without Googling) what the tiny North German town of Husum specializes in (hint: it’s about an hour north east of Hamburg) and is a global leader in an important new technology.area?
        Or maybe the car enthusiasts know what the tiny German border town of Lindau specializes in making.
        Why are there so few examples of these successful regional businesses in Australia?
        Interestingly there are some examples like WE Smith that makes specialized Heat Exchanges in a small town just south of Coffs.

      • @ fisho

        Unfortunately the comparison to Germany is, well, not comparable.
        Australia is a desert with a bit of oasis here and there, was mass populated for the last barely 150 years, has culture of internal migrating at a slightest whiff, does not have work habits, stems from colonial life… all of which is essentially different to Germany (and most of the Europe).
        Just remember that almost each of those villages have history several times longer than any Crown colony and that most of those village folks have lived there for several generations at least.
        On top of that, Germany has freeways or well designed motorways interconnecting every residential area, good infrastructure, strong and well defined national identity (krauts will use imported ingredients in anything only if domestic will not/cannot supply them), cheap labour they can dump at free will (goeastarbeiter). Did I mention that Germany is also in the very middle of a very large market.

        Decentraisation here would not work if applied only from the top of the power down. There has to be a culture of local belonging for several generations with progress and wealth advancement to achieve german industrial decentralisation.

      • Scratch the surface and you’ll discover that some tiny German town leads the world in some aspect of Engineering or Commerce or or or.
        As an example dose anyone know (without Googling) what the tiny North German town of Husum specializes in (hint: it’s about an hour north east of Hamburg) and is a global leader in an important new technology.area?
        Or maybe the car enthusiasts know what the tiny German border town of Lindau specializes in making.

        What percentage of the town would these single businesses (+ maybe direct support – eg: componentry supplier to largerr manufacturer/assembler) employ ?

      • @drsmith
        What percentage of the population of these small towns is employed in these globally significant businesses?
        Frankly I don’t know the answer but more to the point I’m not sure if the answer is more impressive if there are fewer people involved or more people directly employed by these ventures. 21st century business is not about directly employing 80% of a town in some sort of regional specialization like “textile trade” it’s about a section of the population deriving sufficient global income that the region is net positive or more probably balanced from a cash flow perspective. this is important because no government controls your own ability (or local communities ability) to create value for itself. In Australia all any government has to do to win a regional vote is to promise to create X jobs through some scheme that has zero real value. However, when the value proposition belongs to the regional community they’re hardly likely to vote to not fund there own best opportunities.
        With this in mind does it matter if these globally significant regional companies employ 10 people or 10K people
        If you’re interested the two cases I mentioned are Windpower in Husum and Automotive brakes and gearboxes in Lindau.

      • There are examples of good companies and jobs in regional areas, they just don’t get the limelight from the metro based media. example in point the food processing cluster in Central Coast – Sanitarium, Sara Lee, chocolate factories, dairy processing, accompanied by good quality food science education and training offered at the Uni Newcastle local campus. What we need from government is more planning and encouragement of clusters like this outside the metro areas in which there are decent and long term jobs, actually making things instead of creating service industry jobs in the metro area which need an endless supply of people to grow, areas such as CC attract migrants and welcome migrants too if people are prepared to look for them

    • The government has tried enticing businesses to move out of Sydney/Melbourne. Maybe its time to start imposing a premium on businesses which operate there?

      • What business would move to Ayers Rock?
        To be fairer, what business would move to Coffs Harbour?

        If one cannot move Sydney big businesses to Gosford and Wollongong….

      • What business would move to Uluru
        there’s a pretty good case to be made to Solar power generators moving to places like Uluru. maybe not that far but certainly remote regions of western NSW could be solar power generation hubs, in the not to distant future.

  7. Decentralization regardless of immigration is an admirable goal but using immigration as the catalyst is crazy at best.

    I would return to the country in a heartbeat IF I could get a reasonable job in that area, obviously ignoring the anchors of kids attached to belligerent exes. But alas there is nothing out there worth looking at.

    If you want to decentralize an economy then you have to support the local economy in the areas your pushing that decentralization to during the transformation.

    Create Tax incentives for organisations to operate out of regional areas, if the current tax law or constitution does not allow it then make the changes necessary. Drive infrastructure projects out there to build the local economies instead of using them to bypass those economies, e.g. pacific highway was upgraded to get people between Sydney and Brisbane faster, avoiding the local economies along the way. Sure it improved the safety along the way but that could have also been done without the focus on reduced travel times and for a considerable amount less….

    • e.g. pacific highway was upgraded to get people between Sydney and Brisbane faster, avoiding the local economies along the way.
      exactly right!
      towns like Kempsey, Taree and Bulahdelah have been devastated by “progress”, how is this a move towards decentralization ? Coffs is next. maybe it can benefit but I doubt it.

      • As an 11 year old in Year 6 I was delivered with all my class mates to stand on the new bypass at Nambucca Heads with almost all the other classes from all the schools in the district. We had to listen to speech after speech about progress and ‘good for the local economy’. I remember very little about the day except for a few things like it was boring and hot, it was one of the only excursions we were not given a choice for and were not required to pay for the transport. They needed a crowd and we were it…

        go forward 5 years and the main street was economically devastated as all the main business moved further down the highway in an attempt to catch the traffic flow. The congestion that was bypassed returned and they just bypassed it again…..

        It did make the mainstreet of town a more amenable place to be but it was not an overall positive for the town. Same things has happened at hexham.

        As for the Coffs Bypass….. they have been arguing for years about how and the only options left are for them to bulldoze the surrounding hills flat…. Cant see that being cheap or popular…

      • Personally I think this all needs to get started with a dedicated push for Better education outcomes in Regional areas. I haven’t checked recently so I don’t think anything has changed, but when last I looked there wasn’t a single top 20% high school outside of the (newcastle,sydney, wollongong) area. Not one school in the rest of the state, not one example of a school where regional education was delivering better choices than our major cities.
        WHY? Country kids aren’t stupid (although there are some towns like Urunga that I’m not sure about),
        what’s so difficult about bettering the results achieved in some South Sydney slum.
        Plenty of very good teachers, that I’ve spoken to would be willing to give it a try If the risk was not all their’s
        Plenty of regional schools would incorporate the courses necessary and schedule the classes if these costs were not all there costs
        The thing is we’re not talking about massive amounts, when last i did the sums it was conceivable that the right system could be put in place for a little over $1Mpa per school. with one sort of Selective high school per region.
        That’s a tiny fraction of Gonski…maybe it delivers nothing OR maybe it just delivers real regional choice (for those that value education) ..
        Either way it’s a nothing budget item that shows real commitment to our regional centers.

      • It doesn’t seem to be affecting housing prices in these areas, I had a look at them on RE.com yesterday and was gobsmacked at how $$$ these small towns are.

    • Exactly. Move the money – via tax incentives – Business and people will follow. Bigger incentives for headquarters and execs is far better than back office.

      Migrants are around 1-2% of the population per annum, so even the best designed visa incentive system will be some fraction of that.

  8. Quote:…..””This greater population will put greater strain on our chocked, polluted and inefficient cities. And the younger population will put unprecedented demands on an education system already deplorable by Western standards. It is true that these pressures may be eased by decentralisation, but decentralisation in any meaningful sense has always been one of the great Australian myths, like the bunyip or the inland sea; and there is no reason to think that our present piecemeal efforts will improve it.”” – Sydney Morning Herald editorial, page two, JANUARY 1, 1970. Look it up in Google newspapers

  9. I often see pictures of Australian cities from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s and we were doing just fine without this massive influx. All the houses were well-kept, the lawns were mowed, the city streets didn’t seem too crowded and everyone had a smile on their faces. Seems quite the opposite now.

    • Same with London where I grew up as a kid. Watched a London Underground documentary filmed around 63 recently. Same thing as you describe in your comment.

      • Much higher personal debt burdens combined with the abandonment of full employment since that time, also factors?

  10. Two smooth, fashion forward Indian guys were in Darwin a few weeks ago. They told me they were immigration specialists and were looking at the work available for their clients here. They said the Indian food in Darwin was terrible and seemed to think this was going to be some grand opportunity for immigrants, in a population of 145,000 people.

    Darwin already has plenty of Indian restaurants and I know of at least 4 in the city that have gone bust in the last couple of years. These guys seemed to going to push new arrivals into opening cafes in a city were people are more into Laska’s than Masala.

    • It’s a weird thing. The major justification for bringing in lots of immigrants from all sorts of exotic places seems to be food diversity increasing our vibrancy…ie opening lots of ethnic restaurants. As if, for example, an Italian chef already here couldn’t follow recipes from an Indian or Chinese cookbook.

      Are there any other widely spruiked reasons, apart from lots of ethnic restaurants, why we should be importing all these people?

      • Most times the problem is that they do follow the recipe but that’s not what the locals like. Personally I happen to like authentic Szechwan but if you go to a local Sydney restaurant even one owned and operated by Chinese Immigrants you’ll rarely get anything served up that tastes even remotely like the food from Chengdu and never with the flavor/ aroma of real Szechwan street food.
        The problem is that most Aussies like the idea of eating this food far more than the flavors of the real item. A secondary reason is that food preparation laws impact the flavors that are often achieved by fermentation and similar effects, this is part of the reason that these foods lack genuine authentic flavor because they’re missing the essential umami elements.

  11. So I guess Sustainable Australia Party will form government following the next federal election ? #OneCanHope #OneCanDream

  12. AtaraxianMEMBER

    The “bush” (at least the inland part) is struggling to support the basic water needs of the current population. Forget the vibrancy the new arrivals will bring – what about their water needs?


    • “Migrants to the regions will happen if regions pay higher wages. ”

      Migrants will move to the regions when regions offer better life.
      Higher wages do not offer/guarantee better life.