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Federal government considering settling migrants out of cities

House under construction in Sydney Source: AAP

Federal Assistant Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said it was important to discuss where migrants were settling.

The federal government is considering a plan to divert migrants to settle outside major capital cities like Sydney to ease the housing crisis, News corp reports.

Federal Assistant Immigration Minister Alex Hawke was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph that it was a “key priority” for the government to find ways to ­encourage migrants to settle outside of Sydney.

“While the government recog­nises that Sydney will still be an attractive destination for migration, we are looking to work with state governments and ­regional governments to partner with them to see what could attract migrants to other regional centres,’’ Mr Hawke said.

“That means employment prospects and the right infrastructure.”

The minister said it was important to discuss where migrants were settling.

“This is an important conversation and we do want to look at why people don’t want to move to regional centres which have the right balance of jobs and I think if you speak to our Cities Minister Angus Taylor he’ll tell you that some of the City Deals we are bringing on, part of it is how to ­attract migrants to other economic (centres),” he said.

House prices have shot up by 16% over the past year in Sydney and the population is expected to hit 9.9 million in the next decade as per NSW government. 

About 40% population growth is due to overseas and interstate migration, NSW planning minister Anthony Roberts said.

Pratik Shukla
Pratik Shukla is moving from regional Australia to major city for job prospects.

However, those who have migrated to Sydney from regional areas say there are no job opportunities in regional centres and the new plan by federal government is far-fetched.

Indian immigrant Pratik Shukla has spent over 6 years living in regional areas in Victoria and NSW but a decision by his company to make staff redundant, compelled him to take up a job in Sydney.

“My company had started laying off people in Wollongong. So I started looking for jobs elsewhere.

“The job market is very tight in regional areas. There are no jobs, not even part-time jobs.

“I found a good job in Sydney with better career prospects,” Shukla said who is still commuting from Wollongong to Sydney but will be moving to the big metropolis soon.

Shukla says better transport facilities and train services will allow people to live in regional centres and work in Sydney. “But till that happens, who will want to live in regional areas?” he said.