Migrants face deportation if they move, under population control visas

Migrants will have their visas cancelled if they leave designated areas under one of the first stages of the government’s $19 million population package.

The policy, first flagged by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in August, will see regional councils empowered to sponsor workers.
Immigration Minister David Coleman has directed the department to send out officers to negotiate agreements with specific areas including Cairns in Queensland and Arana in western NSW.

“The visa will require people to work in that area,” he said. “You can’t just go and work somewhere else.”

He said if workers sought to move they would have to seek another visa.
“To be frank it would be unlikely they would obtain it and they would not be able to obtain permanent residency.

“It is about encouraging people to areas that have persistent problems in attracting people,” he said.

State governments are pushing back against a federal request for more information on their population growth and urban planning in a dispute over the money needed to stop congestion.

The Morrison government put the idea to state treasurers today but is struggling to get approval out of concern the changes could lead to more attempts by Canberra to tell states and territories where to house more people.

Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad blasted the federal government for setting up the meeting without a clear idea of what the future intake would be and without offering enough information about why it wanted the state data.
“There was such a lack of intellectual rigour around the discussion today, I found it not a very practical use of time,” Ms Trad said after the meeting.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said the federal government was only an “interested dilettante” on the question of how to accommodate a growing population when it did not fund enough infrastructure.

Mr Pallas said the meeting raised questions about the “carrying capacity” of each state when the answer depended in part on the Commonwealth’s ability to fund new road and rail projects to accommodate more people.

“This reinforced the fact that we can’t have a discussion about migration in isolation. The Commonwealth needs to back up its interest in the area with a commitment to help fund infrastructure in the states,” Mr Pallas said after the meeting.
trol visas
By David Crowe and Eryk Bagshaw
February 8, 2019 — 7.50pm
Migrants will have their visas cancelled if they leave designated areas under one of the first stages of the government’s $19 million population package.

The policy, first flagged by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in August, will see regional councils empowered to sponsor workers.

The Morrison government has put the idea to state treasurers but is struggling to get approval.
The Morrison government has put the idea to state treasurers but is struggling to get approval.

Photo: John Veage
Immigration Minister David Coleman has directed the department to send out officers to negotiate agreements with specific areas including Cairns in Queensland and Arana in western NSW.

“The visa will require people to work in that area,” he said. “You can’t just go and work somewhere else.”

He said if workers sought to move they would have to seek another visa.

“To be frank it would be unlikely they would obtain it and they would not be able to obtain permanent residency.

“It is about encouraging people to areas that have persistent problems in attracting people,” he said.

State governments are pushing back against a federal request for more information on their population growth and urban planning in a dispute over the money needed to stop congestion.

The Morrison government put the idea to state treasurers today but is struggling to get approval out of concern the changes could lead to more attempts by Canberra to tell states and territories where to house more people.

Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad blasted the federal government for setting up the meeting without a clear idea of what the future intake would be and without offering enough information about why it wanted the state data.

State treasurers meet with federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on population growth on Friday.
State treasurers meet with federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on population growth on Friday.

Photo: AAP
“There was such a lack of intellectual rigour around the discussion today, I found it not a very practical use of time,” Ms Trad said after the meeting.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said the federal government was only an “interested dilettante” on the question of how to accommodate a growing population when it did not fund enough infrastructure.

Mr Pallas said the meeting raised questions about the “carrying capacity” of each state when the answer depended in part on the Commonwealth’s ability to fund new road and rail projects to accommodate more people.

“This reinforced the fact that we can’t have a discussion about migration in isolation. The Commonwealth needs to back up its interest in the area with a commitment to help fund infrastructure in the states,” Mr Pallas said after the meeting.

Mr Pallas said the Victorian government was spending $13.9 billion on infrastructure across the state this year while the Commonwealth was only contributing less than $1 billion.

The meeting agreed to set up a working group on data sharing and a working group on regional migration needs, but there were conflicting views on the purpose of gathering the data.

One federal source said the data from the states would only be used to make more reliable projections on population growth and would not be gathered at the level of individual workers or taxpayers.

But Ms Trad said the states were only given a paper setting out the objectives on Wednesday night and this was not enough time for a considered discussion.

“We’ve got to make serious infrastructure investment decisions over the next two decades to support the growth in Queensland,” she said.
“All of the documents to support that are publicly available. It’s almost like the Commonwealth is blind to the work the states have done on this.”

The meeting in Canberra on Friday was another step toward deciding the federal government’s official cap on the permanent migration intake after Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared last year he wanted the cap of 190,000 places reduced to the practical level achieved last year, which was 162,000 places.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the immigration intake would continue to be strong and Cities Minister Alan Tudge said the government plans would help encourage more migrants to the regions.

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said last year he saw no case to slow the migration intake but NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian is urging a cut in the number of people coming to her state.

The reduction in the cap does not translate directly to the number of people in the country, given that overseas students and skilled foreign workers continue to arrive but are not counted in the permanent intake unless they are granted residency.
Mr Coleman said 70 per cent of migrants were skilled workers who added value to the economy.

“Migrants who are higher skilled and younger tend to be very valuable,” he said on Friday after the meeting with the states.

https://amp.smh.com.au/politics/federal/migrants-face-deportation-if-they-move-under-population-control-visas-20190208-p50wkz.html?fbclid=IwAR0XB8QfVnNrD3hiYVHPXTWNnQIjbQgTjBnElY0O8C4jqj2aaTbSdEZBtzE

Migrant visas fast-tracked for regional Australia in $19 million plan

Skilled migrants will have their visa applications accelerated if they move to regional Australia under a $19.4 million plan.

Immigration Minister David Coleman on Friday announced the initiative as state and territory treasurers met in Canberra to discuss population growth and congestion issues.
The money will be used over four years and Department of Home Affairs officials will travel to regional areas to help local businesses get more skilled workers.

Under the plan, there will be priority processing for visas sponsored by employers in regional areas, as well as agreements where local councils are able to recruit workers from overseas.
“Our officers will be on the ground to discuss regional migration opportunities with regional employers and communities, and also to hear first hand the local labour issues they face,” Mr Coleman said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has previously flagged migrants could be asked to spend five years in a regional area if they want permanent residency.

Mr Morrison has also flagged cuts to Australia’s annual migration intake to ease congestion in major cities.

Treasurers talk population growth
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg met with the treasurers in Canberra on Friday morning to discuss how the nation can share responsibility for population change, with a particular focus on easing congestion with infrastructure.

“Two-thirds of new immigrants are going to our capital cities, in particular Sydney, Melbourne and in southeast Queensland,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“This is creating pressures on infrastructure, not only on our roads but also on our public transport, creating pressures on health, on education and other essential services.”
“We need to send people where the jobs are and we need to cooperate across state and territories.”

Australia’s permanent migration number is capped at 190,000 people each year but has only reached about 160,000 over the past few years, Mr Frydenberg added.

But the Treasurer was coy on whether he thinks the migration cap should be lowered.

“Well let’s look year by year as to what are the needs across the community, but certainly there are population pressures that are contributing to congestion in our major cities,” he said.

Mr Frydenberg conceded Australia hasn’t planned well for the future, as the population reached 25 million people earlier than expected.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/migrant-visas-fast-tracked-for-regional-australia-in-19-million-plan?fbclid=IwAR34J41oesfR54GS50QMEcIvqMaPa7JZ5KvnZ3gcCJy2HRGZ3So5x43xZ-Q

Queensland closes skilled migration for 2018-19

Queensland has closed its state nomination program for 2018-19.

The state’s official migration website, Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BMSQ) says the state has now closed state nomination for all business and skilled visas (submitted through SkillSelect) from 8 February 2019.

“No further invitations will be issued from this date. BSMQ will continue to process applications which have been already invited for state nomination prior to this date until our quota is exhausted.”
The program will reopen in the new financial year which begins on July 1st, 2019.

“BSMQ will re-open the State Nomination Program in the new financial year. Please submit a new EOI after the new occupation lists have been released in July. We will not select any submitted EOI’s prior to this time”, the website said.

Queensland runs the skilled nominated migration (190) program in order to attract highly skilled people in a range of occupations to contribute to NSW skills needs.

According to the state’s website, “This is a point-tested visa for skilled workers and postgraduate alumni who wish to live and work in Queensland permanently. The Queensland postgraduate degree stream offers streamlined conditions for Masters and PhD graduates from a Queensland-based university.”
Another program, Skilled Nominated (Provisional) visa (subclass 489), is a 4-year point-tested visa “which leads to permanent residency and requires nominated skilled workers to be employed and live in regional Queensland.

https://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/hindi/en/article/2019/02/11/queensland-closes-skilled-migration-2018-19?fbclid=IwAR2IijIJ5VMDcw_HVyzTWFv0CuLvJp6Fu7I4re90Vwi52V07G52oafZLB48

The FOI report shows the number of TSS nominations that have been refused or withdrawn

AUSTRALIA 2070 NOMINATION FOR 482 VISA REFUSED PLUS 257 NOMINATION WITHDRAWN BETWEEN 14TH AUGUST 2018 TO 31ST DECEMBER 2018 UNDER STANDARD BUSINESS SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM BUT COLLECTED $ 7 MILLION AS LEVY FROM EMPLOYERS UNDER SKILLING AUSTRALIAN FUND WHICH IS NOT REFUNDABLE

The FOI report shows the number of TSS nominations that have been refused or withdrawn under a standard business sponsorship between 14 August 2018 and 31 December 2018, with a shocking 2324 failed applications over a 4-month period.

A recent Freedom of Information (FOI) report obtained by a colleague in NSW and shared by our peak membership association, the Migration Institute of Australia, implies a staggering $7 million dollars has potentially been taken by the Australian Government for Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) nomination applications that went nowhere.

The FOI report shows the number of TSS nominations that have been refused or withdrawn under a standard business sponsorship between 14 August 2018 and 31 December 2018, with a shocking 2324 failed applications over a 4-month period.

This money has been generated via the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy, a fee payable per applicant, per year of nomination, with an amount based on the turnover of the company (under or over $10 million per annum). Payments into the SAF are intended to be used to fund apprenticeships and traineeships in the vocational education sector in order to ‘boost the number of people who choose and succeed in this pathway and help address skills shortages across Australia’1

The SAF – payable up-front and in full at the time of lodgement – is not refunded if the TSS Nomination application is refused or withdrawn. In fact, there is no legislative ability to even apply for a refund on this basis!

Representatives of our peak membership association, the Migration Institute of Australia, have been canvassing politicians on the subject of SAF payments and refunds – even going directly to Canberra to raise the issues – but there have been no reports on what has been discussed or decided.

It is surprising that business groups do not appear to be complaining about this money-raising exercise, as many of these applications would have been lodged by businesses themselves.

The moral of the story? It is crucial to ensure that your TSS Nomination application is accurate, compliant, and complete. Not only could your business miss out on skilled workers to meet your needs, you could also incur losses of thousands of dollars that cannot be recovered.

Small (annual turnover less than $10 million) AUD1200 per year or part thereof AUD3000 one-off
Other business (annual turnover of $10 million or more) AUD1800 per year or part thereof AUD5000 one-off

Health Workforce Certificate – a new requirement for employer sponsored visas

Health Workforce Certificate – a new requirement for employer sponsored visas
Visas for General Practitioners: Health Workforce Certificate – a new requirement for employer sponsored visas commenced on 11 March 2019.

New requirements for employers sponsoring overseas doctors to work in Australia will commence on 11 March 2019. When employers lodge employer nomination applications for a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa, Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visas or Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa for an overseas trained doctor (OTD) in any of the occupations listed below, they must ensure the application includes a Health Workforce Certificate issued by a Rural Workforce Agency.

Occupations nominated in visa applications:
General Practitioner (ANZSCO 253111),
Resident Medical Officer (ANZSCO 253112); and
Medical Practitioner not elsewhere classified (ANZSCO 253999) occupation.

The certificate will only be provided where the advertised position responds to genuine workforce need. Without the certificate the nomination cannot be accepted by The Department of Home Affairs and the related visa cannot be granted.

For information how to obtain a Health Workforce Certificate go to:
Fact Sheets (PDF 199 KB)

Forms – Request an application form for a Health Workforce Certificate from visasforgps@hrplustas.com.au

The Department of Home Affairs

http://www.doctorconnect.gov.au/internet/otd/publishing.nsf/Content/visas_for_GPs?fbclid=IwAR1VO_yAD_BI0s352vd-yCF3SGQ1eqyoaz9yV-larg0TvjnNNnKkOADK0DY

Changes to Skilled Occupation Lists Added to MLTSSL

Changes to Skilled Occupation Lists
Added to MLTSSL

Applicable Instruments: LIN 19/047; LIN 19/048; LIN 19/049; LIN 19/051

Telecommunications network planner (ANZSCO code 313213)
Pressure welder (ANZSCO code 322312)
Environmental Manager (ANZSCO code 139912)
Musician (Instrumental) (ANZSCO code 211213)
Statistician (ANZSCO code 224113)
Economist (ANZSCO code 224311)
Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum) (ANZSCO code 233611)
Petroleum Engineer (ANZSCO code 233612)
Engineering Professionals nec (ANZSCO code 233999)
Chemist (ANZSCO code 234211)
Food Technologist (ANZSCO code 234212)
Environmental Consultant (ANZSCO code 234312)
Environmental Research Scientist (ANZSCO code 234313)
Environmental Scientists nec (ANZSCO code 234399)
Geophysicist (ANZSCO code 234412)
Hydrogeologist (ANZSCO code 234413)
Life Scientist (General) (ANZSCO code 234511)
Biochemist (ANZSCO code 234513)
Biotechnologist (ANZSCO code 234514)
Botanist (ANZSCO code 234515)
Marine Biologist (ANZSCO code 234516)
Microbiologist (ANZSCO code 234517)
Zoologist (ANZSCO code 234518)
Life Scientists nec (ANZSCO code 234599)
Conservator (ANZSCO code 234911)
Metallurgist (ANZSCO code 234912)
Meteorologist (ANZSCO code 234913)
Natural and Physical Science Professionals nec (ANZSCO code 234999)
University Lecturer (ANZSCO code 242111)
Multimedia Specialist (ANZSCO code 261211)
Software and Applications Programmers nec (ANZSCO code 261399)
Horse Trainer (ANZSCO code 361112)
Physicist – no longer restricted to medical physicist
Added to STSOL

Applicable Instrument LIN 19/048

visual arts and crafts professionals (nec) (ANZSCO code 211499)
textile, clothing and footwear mechanic (ANZSCO code 323215)
watch and clock maker and repairer (ANZSCO code 323316)
chemical plant operator (ANZSCO code 399211)
library technician (ANZSCO code 399312)
Moved from STSOL to MLTSSL

Applicable Instruments – LIN 19/047; LIN 19/048; LIN 19/049; LIN 19/050

arts administrator or manager (ANZSCO code 139911)
dancer or choreographer (ANZSCO code 211112)
music director (ANZSCO code 211212)
artistic director (ANZSCO code 212111)
tennis coach (ANZSCO code 452316)
footballer (ANZSCO code 452411)
Removed from STSOL

Applicable Instrument LIN 19/050

Visual Arts and Crafts Professionals (ANZSCO code 211499)
Textile, Clothing and Footwear Mechanic (ANZSCO code 323215)
Watch and Clock Maker and Repairer (ANZSCO code 323316)
Chemical Plant Operator (ANZSCO code 399211)
Library Technician (ANZSCO code 399312)
Arts Administrator or Manager (ANZSCO code 139911)
Dancer or Choreographer (ANZSCO code 211112)
Music Director (ANZSCO code 211212)
Artistic Director (ANZSCO code 212111)
Footballer (ANZSCO code 452411)
Aquaculture Farmer (ANZSCO code 121111)
Cotton Grower (ANZSCO code 121211)
Fruit or Nut Grower (ANZSCO code 121213)
Grain, Oilseed or Pasture Grower (ANZSCO code 121214)
Mixed Crop Farmer (ANZSCO code 121216)
Sugar Cane Grower (ANZSCO code 121217)
Crop Farmers nec (ANZSCO code 121299)
Beef Cattle Farmer (ANZSCO code 121312)
Dairy Cattle Farmer (ANZSCO code 121313)
Mixed Livestock Farmer (ANZSCO code 121317)
Pig Farmer (ANZSCO code 121318)
Sheep Farmer (ANZSCO code 121322)
Livestock Farmers nec (ANZSCO code 121399)
Mixed Crop and Livestock Farmer (ANZSCO code 121411)
Dentist (ANZSCO code 252312)
Anaesthetist (ANZSCO code 253211)
Tennis Coach (ANZSCO code 4542316)
Added to Regional Occupation List

Applicable Instrument LIN 19/048

deer farmer (ANZSCO code 121314)
goat farmer (ANZSCO code 121315)
Added to Regional Occupation List, removed from STSOL

Applicable Instruments: LIN 19/048;

aquaculture farmer (ANZSCO code 121111)
cotton grower (ANZSCO code 121211)
fruit or nut grower (ANZSCO code 121213)
grain, oilseed or pasture grower (Aus) / field crop grower (NZ) (ANZSCO code 121214)
mixed crop farmer (ANZSCO code 121216)
sugar cane grower (ANZSCO code 121217)
crop farmers (nec) (ANZSCO code 121299)
beef cattle farmer (ANZSCO code 121312)
dairy cattle farmer (ANZSCO code 121313)
mixed livestock farmer (ANZSCO code 121317)
pig farmer (ANZSCO code 121318)
sheep farmer (ANZSCO code 121322)
livestock farmers (nec) (ANZSCO code 121399)
mixed crop and livestock farmer (ANZSCO code 121411)
dentist (ANZSCO code 252312)
anaesthetist (ANZSCO code 253211)
Removed from Regional Occupation List moved to MLTSSL

Applicable Instruments: LIN 19/047; LIN 19/049

arts administrator or manager (ANZSCO code 139911)
dancer or choreographer (ANZSCO code 211112)
music director (ANZSCO code 211212)
artistic director (ANZSCO code 212111)
tennis coach (ANZSCO code 452316)
footballer (ANZSCO code 452411)
telecommunications network planner (ANZSCO code 313213)
pressure welder (ANZSCO code 322312)
Occupations with added conditions

Applicable Instruments: LIN 19/047 (SC 187); LIN 19/048 (SC 482); LIN 19/049 (SC 186)

The following medical practitioner occupations now require a Health Workforce Certificate for the position and occupation to be presented with the nomination application

general practitioner (ANZSCO code 253111)
medical practitioners (nec) (ANZSCO code 253999)
resident medical officer (ANZSCO code 253112)
Applicability conditions added/changed

Condition 25

imposes a minimum salary of $120,000 pa for footballers
replaces Condition 23 for ship’s masters and gas or petroleum operators
Condition 26

replaces Conditions 23 for recruitment consultants on the STSOL and reduces the annual salary required to $80,000

Premier intervenes as international students’ English fails to make the grade

International students who speak little English are struggling to keep up with their peers at Australian universities, prompting the Victorian government to call for a review of entry requirements.

Premier Daniel Andrews has written a letter to the National Tertiary Education Union promising to take up the issue of English entry standards with the federal government.
Acting Minister for Higher Education James Merlino said the situation was unfair on international students and teachers.

“International students are a vital part of Victoria’s education system but it’s concerning that some students are enrolled in courses without adequate English language skills to complete them,” he said.

Academics, tutors and students say some international students are struggling to understand instructions in class, complete assignments and communicate with other students.
They say English standards have been set too low and can be bypassed by enrolling in bridging courses.

The National Tertiary Education Union’s Victorian president Nic Kimberley, who has tutored and lectured at many universities and works at RMIT, said many international students at Australian universities lacked the English proficiency needed to succeed.
“This is something that should concern everyone,” he said. “If they fail, they have to repeat and there is often a lot of shame. We don’t want to see international students fail.”

Mr Kimberley said he often received emails from international students begging him to increase their grade to a pass.
“It is incredibly stressful. As someone who teaches students, you do feel very guilty about it because of the high stakes.”

He said while many international students had a strong grasp of the English language, local students tried to avoid working with them for group projects.

The union is calling for a review of the English standards required for student visas and those set by universities for different courses. It’s also pushing for more English language support for international students.
Federal government rules require those wanting a student visa to achieve a score of at least 5.5 in the International English Language Testing System. This test gives students a score out of 9 for listening, reading, writing and speaking and most universities require students to receive a score of between 6 and 7.

But students can also receive a student visa with a score of 4.5 – which means they have a limited or modest grasp of English – if they enrol in a 20-week intensive English course before embarking on their university course.
While they must pass the course, they do not have to resit the international English test.

About one-quarter of all international students enter Australian universities via this pathway.

The peak body for overseas students, the Council of International Students Australia, is backing the calls for higher English entry standards.

The council’s national public relations officer, Manfred Mlestin, said while fewer international students would be accepted into courses, potentially eroding the country’s $31.9 billion a year international student industry, the quality of graduates would improve.

“If a student doesn’t understand what a teacher is saying, how can they finish their assignments?” he asks.
When John Chen* arrived in Melbourne on a student visa, he couldn’t order food in English.

“I would just use pointing, it was horrific,” he said.

The Chinese student spent 18 months at Trinity College in the hope of improving his language skills.

At university, he struggled to understand his lecturers and write essays, and barely spoke in tutorials. He switched from arts to science at the end of his first semester, hoping it would be easier.

While it wasn’t easier, he eventually improved his English by watching Youtube.
Chinese student Adam Zhao* said he failed a subject last semester because of his language difficulties.

He was working on a group assignment with three native English speakers who struggled to understand him.

While Adam has been in Australia for five years and completed two years of high school here, he still struggles with the language barrier.

His communication difficulties have affected his mental health, leaving him feeling isolated.

“I felt like I should be able to communicate, but I couldn’t,” he said.
A recent report by the Coroner considered the extreme stress experienced by some international students, highlighting the case of a 24-year-old Chinese international student who died in a fall that was later ruled to be suicide. He was believed to be suffering from depression and struggling to understand his English-language course.

Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson said Australian universities set English language requirements that were comparable to other world-leading education sectors.

“Many universities have standards for particular courses that go above the minimum standards set by the student visa,” she said.

She said students who passed bridging courses had the English skills required to complete a higher education qualification and succeed.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said it was the responsibility of universities to ensure that the students they enrol had the language skills to participate fully in their education.
“You can judge the quality of Australia’s sector by the number of international students that we attract,” he said.

*Names have been changed.

Designated Area Migration Agreements – The Future of Immigration?

Designated Area Migration Agreements – The Future of Immigration?

Last year no doubt has been challenging both for Migration Agents as well as businesses trying to fill in skills shortage. The introduction of subclass 482 visa has seen a decline of 28% of sponsored visas granted, leaving businesses with severe skills shortage.

The government’s response is to enter into a Designated Area Agreement (DAMA). By way of background, the Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) programme has been developed to supplement the workforce strategies of states, territories and regions, to support economic performance and help them adjust to changing economic conditions.

The DAMA is a two-tier agreement: the first tier consists of an overarching three-year deed of agreement with a designated area representative setting out occupations, ceilings and concessions; and the second tier comprising individual labour agreements with direct employers.

DAMAs establish collaborative arrangements, with shared roles and responsibilities, between the Australian Government and regional or state and territory authorities.

The overarching nature of a DAMA allows employers streamlined access to a broader range of overseas workers than available through the standard subclass 482 visa programme, without the need to individually negotiate terms and conditions. DAMAs are attractive to small businesses which may not have the resources to develop a labour agreement directly with the government.

Whilst DAMAs vary from state to state, the key elements for DAMA similar to those of a labour agreement, however specifics include:

· The utilisation of labour agreement stream of the TSS programme for businesses enter into a labour agreement with the Australian Government and workers are then granted a subclass 482 visa.

· pathways to permanent residency for DAMA visa holders (including transitional arrangements for existing visa holders)

· a broad range of occupations that reflect skilled and semi-skilled shortages, with no caveats to apply

· English language concessions for some occupations

· salary concessions that in some instances however these are generally specific from state to state, ensuring that worker terms and conditions of employment are not eroded, and state businesses and consumers are not subjected to inflationary costs

· a range of risk and integrity actions to ensure that the rights of both employees and employers are protected

As an organisation at the forefront of skilled migration, at this point in time Northern Territory has negotiated DAMA and NSW submitted a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) to the Federal Government. As the first of its kind in NSW to streamline the visa application process, the DAMA is set to make it easier for migrant employees and employers to fill vacant positions.

As mentioned earlier, DAMAs are custom-designed arrangements which support a tailored, regional response to labour needs. They are an important tool in assisting regions to manage workforce strategies that support local growth. The over-arching nature of these agreements allows employers targeted and streamlined access to a broader range of overseas workers than allowed under standard State and National skilled migration programmes. The DAMA will negotiate terms and conditions, cutting down on individual employer visa worker hiring costs.

Similar to Labour Agreements, DAMA’s are granted for five years.

Businesses can access the DAMA if they are actively operating in a particular state and:

· are viable and have been operating for at least 12 months

· have no history of not meeting its obligations to employees

· are looking to employ overseas workers to fill full-time positions with duties that align with one of the occupations on the State Specific DAMA list

· can demonstrate they cannot fill the position locally with Australian citizens or permanent residents

· can provide terms and conditions of employment to overseas workers that are in accordance with those offered to Australian workers employed in the region.

Why are there so many more men than women in the Northern Territory?

Although Territory women have been outnumbered for decades, enjoying the highest ratio of men to women in the country, it seems many of them are still struck by the old proverb: the odds are good, but the goods are odd.

Not so for Queensland-based questioner Katherine, who’s had a different personal experience.

“I’ve had a couple of friends that’ve gone to work up in Darwin and both of them have come back married,” she said.

“I just wondered if there was something about the Territory or Darwin in particular, that that kind of thing happens more easily.”

Is it something in the water?

This story is part of Curious Darwin, our series where you ask us the questions, vote for your favourite, and we investigate. You can submit your questions on any topic at all, or vote on our next investigation.

Katherine asked Curious Darwin to take a look at the demographics.

Her query isn’t personal, but it is altruistic.

“I guess I’ve got a lot of single female friends and some of them are starting to get into their late 30s, early 40s now in Brisbane, and I’m just wondering if we should send them up north,” she said.

Prisons and workers’ camps skewing the numbers

At the last Census, in 2016, the NT population was 51.8 per cent male and 48.2 per cent female, with a median age of 32.

Nationally, the population was 49.3 per cent male and 50.7 per cent female.

Four of the five postcodes Australia-wide with the highest male-to-female ratio were in Darwin and the greater rural area.

Howard Springs, outside of Darwin, tops the list, followed by Darwin City, Weddell, and then Larrakeyah, home to a significant Defence force barracks.

Closer to Alice Springs, the Sandover-Plenty region — population 4,456, median age 30.7 — rounds out the top five.

There’s a couple of factors that could skew the ratio in those post codes.

Howard Springs is home to Manigurr-Ma Village, a workers’ camp for Inpex, whose $47 billion Ichthys project at one stage employed 8,000 workers.

That project has now moved into its production phase, employed far fewer people, but at the time of the 2016 Census was still under peak construction.

The Darwin Correctional Centre also falls within the boundaries of Howard Springs.

Territory-wide, there are far more men in prison than women — the population is 93 per cent male, with 1,520 men compared to 114 women as of June 2018 — and the Darwin Correctional Centre has an average population that is almost double that of the Alice Springs Correctional Centre.

The skew towards men in the NT population harks back to the Territory’s history, said demographer Andrew Taylor, from Charles Darwin University.

“This goes back to the sorts of reasons places like Darwin are settled — commonly for strategic military purposes, for resource things, or to just have a presence in the north of developed countries,” he said.

“Through time, as the places become contemporary settlements, we still see that reflected in the population characteristics.”

Dr Taylor said it was very difficult to measure a precise economic impact.

For example, he said, rates of crime for males are higher, males are worse at saving, so they may not be contributing the economy in those ways, and the social networks that males develop are more limited.

“If there’s that imbalance, your stock of females is lower, and given that we’re a younger population, that can impact on the birth rate,” Dr Taylor said.

“Overall, males are a higher turnover part of the population, so it contributes to our churn in some respects, and that has economic costs through businesses and others needing to re-fill jobs all the time.”

Female majority in resources-dominated Canadian province

Dr Taylor referred to other remote, northern provinces overseas that had similar demographics to the Northern Territory, such as the far eastern province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada.

The ratio of men to women was fairly evenly split in the region — and in fact, women account for just over 50 per cent of the population, a majority, said Linda Ross, chief executive of the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

But she said the economy of the province is largely resourced-based, focusing on the offshore oil and mining industries.

“In order for any of the mega projects to receive approval in the province they must include Women’s Employment Plans that include women working across all employment fields, as well as a commitment to increase the numbers of women in those fields.”

The evacuation of Darwin

There was a time when the ratio of men to women in the city of Darwin was skewed in its extreme.

In the weeks before Darwin was bombed by Japanese forces in February 1942, it was becoming increasingly clear it was going to be a target, so authorities ordered the evacuation of women and children, old and sick residents, beginning in December 1941.

Official war history recorded that a mere 2,500 people remained in Darwin two months later.

Women who wanted to stay could avoid evacuation by taking jobs considered to be essential, such as typist positions with the army.

Journalist, soldier, and later author Douglas Lockwood wrote in his book Australia’s Pearl Harbour: Darwin 1942 that by February 18, 1942 — the day before the bombing — there were only 63 women left in the city.

He wrote of the hundreds more people that fled following the “destruction and terror” of the Japanese attack.

Mr Lockwood wrote of one group of Top Enders not ordered to evacuate: Aboriginal people, who were instead ordered to “go bush”.

In 2012, 70 years since the bombing of Darwin, historian and researcher Don Christopherson told ABC Radio Darwin about the selective evacuation of Aboriginal people from Darwin.

Those who had both Aboriginal and European heritage were evacuated — others were not.

There were also Aboriginal people living on country in the Top End, like the Tiwi Islands and Milingimbi, who were not evacuated.

Many Aboriginal people did labour for the army throughout the rest of the war, though often Mr Chistopherson said they were paid ‘in kind’, with goods like tobacco, rather than official wages.

There were also the Northern Territory Special Reconnaissance Unit, which patrolled the Arnhem Land Coast on the lookout for any sign of Japanese landings.

They were trained to fight as guerrillas if there was an invasion.

Those in this unit weren’t officially enlisted, and it was only in 1992 that the Federal Government formally acknowledged them with service medals and pay.

Things can turn around

The Northern Territory’s population strategy — released off the back of its ‘Boundless Possible’ campaign — is trying to entice families and needed professionals to the north with financial incentives.

The NT Government has commissioned further research into how to attract early career women, a key target demographic.

The proportion of men to women traditionally reflected employment patterns, said Andrew Howe, demographer with the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

“When we look back on the 1970s and 80s, the NT’s population really grew, especially from interstate migration, with people coming from other parts of Australia attracted by employment prospects which were traditionally more attractive to men rather than women,” he said.

The NT’s sex ratio is slowly approaching an equal number, he said.

“Again, looking back into the 70s in the NT, we had roughly five men to every four women, or a sex ratio of 125 which has gradually come down to 108.”

Recent ABS population projections anticipate the sex ratio approaching a more even split.

“But where it does get a bit fancy, a bit technical … we consider those trends in terms of fertility, mortality, and migration, so the combined effects of those trends.”

Alice Springs bucking the trend with the arts, health

Darwin may have been a male-dominated city since it was founded, but Alice Springs managed to buck the trend a couple of censuses back.

“Once you start digging down to individual towns and so on, things can change; even at the Territory level the ratio is declining or becoming more balanced very slowly,” Dr Taylor said.

“Because we’re a small population that can flip easily, that’s why the arrival of a relatively small number of females into Alice Springs for health jobs and in the arts sector led to their population flipping.

There is also a higher ratio of women to men in remote Aboriginal communities.

In Tanami, Central Australia, there are 88.6 males for every 100 females, and Yuendumu-Anmatjere, had 88.7 men for every 100 women.

Women on the street at Howard Springs didn’t seem particularly bothered by the numbers.

“[We've] got heaps of mums at school and stuff, so I don’t really see too much of a difference really,” one woman told the ABC when she was asked if she notices a lot of men around the suburb.

“Maybe at the pub, few more blokes there.”

Another woman said: “I don’t really notice. I don’t pay attention … I’ve got children so I’m more making sure they’re still alive.”

One bloke we spoke to hadn’t heard the statistic for his area.

“I’m glad I’ve got a partner then, by the sounds of things,” he responded.

https://amp.abc.net.au/article/10709740

Australia’s immigration intake to remain at last year’s level: PM Scott Morrison

Australia’s immigration intake to remain at last year’s level: PM Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he expects Australia’s permanent annual immigration intake to remain at year’s level “just a little over 160,000″ against the planning level of 190,000.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia’s annual immigration intake will continue to remain at last year’s level, which was nearly 28,000 less than the planning level of 190,000.

“Our current permanent immigration levels are running just a little over 160,000. That was the level of the permanent immigration that was running at the time of the conclusion of the Howard Government,” Mr Morrison told reporters.

“They used to be a bit higher than that in terms of what the permanent intake had been a few years ago and that has come down somewhat over the last year or so. And I expect it to remain at those levels,” he said responding to a question about NSW Premier Gladys Berejeklian’s call to slash the state’s overseas migration intake to John Howard-era levels.

Last year, Australia’s permanent immigration intake fell to below 163,000 – the lowest since 2007-08 under John Howard.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton who was responsible for the Immigration portfolio before Mr Morrison took the reins of the country from Malcolm Turnbull, attributed the decline in immigration to enhanced security checks.

Earlier this week, Immigration Minister, David Coleman indicated that his department would continue the approach adopted since last year.

“We did see last year, the impact the increased security process had,” Mr Coleman said in Melbourne.

“It is absolutely fundamental that we in no way absolutely compromise on security. We are not going to do that. We are going to be very careful.

Australia’s annual immigration planning levels have been consistent at 190,000 since 2011. The actual intake has been consistent with the planning levels since then for most of the time until 2016-17 when the intake was just over 183,000.

Last year’s figures showed a decline of over 21,000 in the number permanent visas issued compared to the previous year, primarily driven by a cut in skilled and family stream visas.

In 2017-18, the skilled stream visas saw a cut of over 12,000 and family stream visas were also cut by 15 per cent.

The continuing visa squeeze reflects in the number of invites issued by the Immigration Department to visa aspirants who have submitted their expression of interest to apply for a permanent visa.