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Population, Immigration, Refugees, Skill Shortages and Planning

Population, Immigration, Refugees, Skill Shortages and Planning

If only we could all hear views of migrants. MICK the Syrian, as he’s known, sells excellent vegetables at the Queen Victoria Market. Usually he’s to be found smoking and flicking through wads of cash and flirting with customers, like the louche, art-house actor he so closely resembles, but last Tuesday he was reading from a darker script.

Lying almost prone over his leafy greens, he argued with a boy, a young student with a clipboard, sent to gather opinions on the federal government’s policy on asylum seekers.

Puff’s the magic population target
. AUSTRALIA needs to grow, but there is ”no simple magic number” that would make the best target, says one of the Gillard government’s key advisers on population policy. Demographer Graeme Hugo, who will chair one of three committees advising the government on future population scenarios, laments the debate so far has been dominated by the ”maximise it” or ”stop it” camps. Professor Hugo said both positions, which he called extreme, were unhelpful in resolving the dilemma the nation faced, particularly as the baby boomers aged. The definition of population was broader than just immigration, he said.

…. Monash University demographer Bob Birrell, however, is prepared to take a contrarian approach: about 27 million is a sustainable population for 2050, he says. ”From an environmental point of view, we are already straining the natural capacity of our country and diminishing the quality of our lives. I would like to see Australia’s population stabilised as soon as practicable,” he says. ”We should aim for an immigration program to deliver the number of migrants necessary to equal the loss in natural increases – that is, deaths minus births.”

Warnings on skills shortage. A SHORTAGE of skilled workers could dampen Australia’s renewed economic expansion, a new survey says. The Australian Industry (Ai) Group/Deloitte survey of more than 400 chief executives found 34.7 per cent of businesses believed there was at least a high risk that a skills shortages would have an adverse effect on operations this year. The level of concern rose to 47.5 per cent of all companies for 2015, according to the report, Skill Shortages: A high risk business, which was released yesterday.

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