The Prime Minister revealed yesterday after the National cabinet meeting that the government expected overseas migration number to drop by about 85 per cent! He explained this drop is going to happen because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These drop-in numbers are expected to be happening now and the lack of 189 invitations is already painfully evident but is it really due to the current crisis?

Mr Morrison said that in 2020-21 there would be an “85 per cent fall off those 2018-19 levels as well — so they are quite significant falls”. You’ll be well aware from past budgets of the importance of those numbers and how they contribute to overall gross domestic product and its growth each year. That is a significant change.”

He disclosed his concerns about the future impact such numbers would mean.

“There will be lag effects,­ and that’s why I’ve flagged before them that we need growth-orient­ated to overcome what will be quite stiff headwinds,” he said.

Now the Prime Minister and the cabinet has had a lot on its plate lately but it’s time to recognise the importance of the migration and international students in Australia and how they contribute to the economy. All prior governments have long been criticised for not setting up a Ministry specifically focused on this vital contribution to our economy.

Why does this drop need to happen?

In reality, there is no excuse for this drop to occur. Australia already has a vast wealth of former international students who have Expression Of Interest’s (EOI) already on the system. There are also many temporary workers here, such as Doctors, Nurses, Aged Care Workers and many more contributing to this economy. We don’t need to import any new migrants from overseas, they are already here. The cut in numbers has already been evidenced with a pathetic dribble of invitations for the 189 visa being rolled out each month. Anyone can see this cut is not due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is due to government policy.

The PM is doing the community a disservice in spinning this line, blaming the pandemic for the cut in migration. All of you out there in Australia waiting for your invitations will know exactly what I’m talking about, it’s just a shame that political comments like this do nothing to explain the real picture.

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Karl Konrad