During the 2019 Federal Election, REIWA’s ‘What About WA’ campaign called for policies that help drive growth in Western Australia, such as putting Perth back on the Regional Migration Scheme (RMS).
It is pleasing to see as of the 16 November, the Federal Government will reinstate Perth’s status as a regional city which will align with Adelaide, Darwin and Hobart, and help to boost population growth in WA.
What is the RMS?
The program provides special visas to international skilled workers and students who move to regional areas of Australia. It is aimed at reducing the congestion in major cities such as Melbourne and Sydney by encouraging people towards regional areas.
Placing Perth on the RMS will help increase population growth, which leads to jobs and economic growth.
How does it work?
Employers in the designated regional areas who have staff shortages, will have access to a larger list of occupations to fill positions.
Those that agree to work in a regional area for three years will have their visa applications elevated to the top of the list and after their visa finishes, will be eligible to apply for permanent residency.
From a student perspective, international graduates from a regional university will be able to work for an extra year in Australia after their studies have concluded.
In addition, there will also be 1,000 scholarships worth $15,000 available every year to international students in regional areas.
Why is this a win for WA?
According to the ABS, WA was the only state to record a negative net migration figure in 2016-17. Of the 13,384 people who came to WA, we lost 550 more to other states.
There is no doubt that the recent housing boom on the east coast was linked to an increase in population, placing a high demand on property prices. This is why the main lever to help boost WA’s economy is population growth.
Our state needs migrants to fill demand for housing, increase housing construction, create jobs and stimulate economic growth. We must encourage more people to come to WA and ensure those that migrate here, are here to stay.