Earlier this week, immigration minister David Coleman gave a speech to the Sydney Institute where spruiked the Coalition’s 30,000 cut to Australia’s non-humanitarian permanent migrant visa intake in order to reduce congestion in the major cities:
…in recent years, we have reduced our annual permanent migration intake. Population pressure in Sydney and Melbourne in particular has been very substantial, with growth of 18 and 25 percent respectively between 2006 and 2016. This has led to real and legitimate concerns about congestion in our major cities.
In March, we announced that the cap on the annual migration intake will be reduced from 190,000 to 160,000 for the 2019/20 year. And we’ve announced a range of measures that will encourage migrants to settle in regional Australia, further reducing the population pressure on Sydney and Melbourne.
Yesterday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released its monthly overseas arrivals and departures data, which showed that net long-term arrivals were just under 300,000 in the year to June, and have risen more than 50,000 over the past three years:
As you can see, there is a strong correlation between the monthly net long-term arrivals data and Australia’s official quarterly Net Overseas Migration (NOM), which is current to December 2018. Therefore, the recent uplift in net long-term arrivals suggests that NOM will rise significantly in the immediate future.
It is worth also pointing out that the April Federal Budget projected an increase in NOM over the forward estimates:
Moreover, the Budget projected massive population increases for both NSW (600,000) and VIC (650,000), with the overwhelming majority of this growth to flow to Sydney and Melbourne:
The reason for the disconnect between the Morrison Government’s “congestion busting” rhetoric around cutting immigration and the reality of increasing NOM is obvious: the government has opened the floodgates to temporary migrants, whose visas on issue have risen by around 540,000 over the Coalition’s reign:
The biggest drivers of this increase in temporary visas are international student visas (280,000) and bridging visas (110,000).
Whatever the case, the official migration figures have exposed the Morrison Government’s immigration lies.