Are Migrants A Key to Growth and Sustainability of Regional Australia in 2023?

Are Migrants A Key to Growth and Sustainability of Regional Australia Starting 2023?

According to the Regional Australia Institute (RAI), increasing overseas migration will benefit the growth and sustainability of regional Australia, as outlined in the Centre for Population and Development’s 2022 population statement.


The Regional Australia Institute was founded in 2011 as the nation’s first and only independent think tank. It is dedicated to building active and robust regional communities and improving the quality of life in Australia’s regional towns and cities.


Liz Ritchie’s thoughts on the growth and sustainability of regional Australia

RAI CEO Liz Ritchie recently praised the government’s emphasis on immigration in a report to the Department of Home Affairs’ evaluation of migration procedures. She called for establishing a national population plan for the growth and sustainability of regional Australia.


Ms. Ritchie said,

“The 2022 Population Statement projects in 2022-23 that less than 17% of net overseas migration will flow to regional Australia.”


She further said,

“Regional Australia deserves a far greater share of Australia’s biggest driver of population growth.


She highlighted the shortage of skilled workers in regional Australia and pointed out that there should be a collective effort to establish systems and processes in their support. In her words,


At a time when our regional cities and towns are crying out for skills and labour, reaching a record of over 96,000 job vacancies in late 2022, we need to be collectively looking at the systems and processes supporting migrants, so we have more calling regional Australia home.


She pointed out that,

Migration will be critical to the growth and sustainability of regional Australia over the next decade.


RAI’s report of census data

According to the RAI’s report of census data for the year 2021, it is showed that overseas migrants are not hesitant to live in regional Australia at all. They need enough support and information to do so. Also, in terms of Australian and foreign-born people, 70% of all 254 local government areas that experienced population growth between 2016 and 2021 were located in remote or regional areas.


The data also showed that the international community is helpful in buffering the decrease in some regional areas and communities and hence plays a pivotal role in the growth and sustainability of regional Australia. Between the time period of 2016 and 2021, 103 regional Local Government Associations (LGAs) had a decrease in their Australian population. At the same time, their overseas population was observed to have increased.


The importance of emphasizing that migrants should be given more assistance in settling in rural Australia is one of the main points of RAI’s submission to the Department of Home Affairs study of migration policies. This is done so the regions can draw in and keep overseas people.


Ms. Ritchie said,

Demand to live in regional Australia is not the issue.To have more migrants living in regional Australia, we need to provide further awareness about job opportunities, including job support services, and ensure we have communities with enough housing and critical soft and hard infrastructure.


She said,

We need to take a holistic view of the various factors impacting Australia’s migrant population. Population planning, jobs, access to housing – are all interlinked.


The Regionalization 2032 Ambition, which RAI produced after a decade of research and has 20 targets spread across five pillars,

  • Population,
  • Jobs & Skills,
  • Liveability,
  • Productivity & Innovation,
  • Sustainability & Resilience.


In order to achieve the ambitious goals, the Australian government intends to double the number of overseas migrants living in regional Australia to 40% by the year 2025. This step of the government will positively impact the growth and sustainability of regional Australia.


Lastly, Ms. Ritchie said,

They not only keep vibrant communities growing, but they help balance aging populations in some communities.“Importantly migrants can bring the skills and labor that regional Australia desperately needs while living the good life in their new country.


Final remarks

Skilled Migration plays an essential role in stabilizing Australia’s economy by filling the country’s skill shortage. Overseas migrants are also considered a key to the growth and sustainability of regional Australia for the next decade.


Regional Australia offers many benefits to overseas migrants, including a high quality of living, excellent education, good healthcare, an outstanding work-life balance, and decent pay. The government wants the migrants to move to regional Australia more often. The data also backs up the fact that the migrants are willing to move to regional Australia provided the right opportunities.


Are you interested in living, studying, or working in regional Australia? Get in touch with a migration agent if you want more information.


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I’m Nasir Nawaz. I’m a registered migration consultant in Australia. I am based in Sydney. I’ve studied Master of Laws at the University of New South Wales. I’m providing immigration services for several years.

Consult with me for legal advice on Australian visas to permanently live, study, and work in Australia.