The federal government has revised its regional migration programme - which includes Perth and the Gold Coast no longer being classified as "major cities" for migration purposes. It says the change will help to ease congestion across the country.
The government wants more skilled migrants to move to the regions, and announced an increase in the total number of regional places in its migration program from 23,000 to 25,000. The definition of "regional Australia" is also changing.
From the middle of next month Perth and the Gold Coast will no longer be classified as "major cities". Labor says the government previously said the Gold Coast's classification wouldn't change. Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese questions the government's motives.
Under the skilled migration program, migrants who live and work in the regions for at least three years are eligible for permanent residency. International students in the regions will also be eligible to apply for more time in Australia on a post-study work visa. Alexandra Long from the Multicultural Youth Affairs Network New South Wales says she hopes the right support is provided to ease the transition for students.
It will be fantastic to see international students supported to attend those universities. But again I think there needs to be really good planning in place for this policy to be successful, for those students. So for example, thinking about having adequate housing and affordable housing for international students. Recently, we've had some challenges with racism, and in some cases violence, towards international student. So I think it is really important that we address those kinds of challenges.