“We are starting from scratch and cannot assume that migration levels will return to where they were two years ago.”
Solve the poll conducted for the Herald and age in November, Australians were wary of a “big Australia”, with 58% of voters backing the idea of restarting migration at a lower level than before the pandemic.
Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said: “A pathway to permanent residency for qualified temporary visa holders is essential to attracting top talent and helping to address the acute labor shortage in Australia.
“You can’t employ hundreds of Australians on a construction site if you don’t have a surveyor and you can’t transform our economy to decarbonise, digitize and diversify without access to the best talent in the world.”
Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox was less positive, saying: ‘Turning the system around and imposing more restrictions will only make Australia a less attractive place to consider working to fill gaping holes in the market. of the work we have now.
“The issues around the exploitation of some migrant workers need to be addressed, but not at the expense of the whole program or the vast majority of employers who are doing the right thing.”
In a recent submission to the Home Office, the Law Council of Australia recommended that all qualified medium and long-term visa holders be offered a pathway to permanent residency.
“To attract potential migrants, the path to permanent residence must be more secure and
predictable,” the board said.
Chris Stillard of the NSW Farmers Federation has warned Labor that reducing the availability of overseas workers will cripple the farming industry, inviting Ms Keneally to visit a farm.
“People in the bush need to know what impact a possible Labor government would have on them well before the election,” Mr Stillard said.
“We are already seeing farmers having to scale back due to a lack of workers – failure to do so will put the brakes on agriculture and derail our efforts to build a stronger future for agriculture.”
Jacqueline Maley cuts through the noise of the federal election campaign with news, opinion and expert analysis. Sign up for our Australia Votes 2022 newsletter here.