The Government will provide funding for three measures to increase migration to Australia in 2004–05.
The Regional Migration Initiatives package provides funding to attract people with much needed skills and resources to regional Australia and low population metropolitan areas. There will also be an increase in the number of places provided in the Permanent Migration (non-Humanitarian) Program and the Humanitarian Program.
The Regional Migration Initiatives package will result in savings in the former Family and Community Services portfolio due to a reduction in the number of migrants claiming social security payments. The additional funding for the Humanitarian Program and Non-Humanitarian Migration Program will enable the provision of English language tuition and will result in increased social security payments.
These are cross portfolio measures involving the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, the former Department of Family and Community Services, the Department of Education, Science and Training, the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and the Department of Health and Ageing.
There are currently skill shortages in regional and low population metropolitan areas of Australia. The Regional Migration Initiatives package and the Migration (non-Humanitarian) Program will help address these shortages and lower the levels of migration to high population areas, and in particular, Sydney.
1 July 2004 – Regional Migration Initiatives Package.
1 July 2004 – Humanitarian Program.
1 July 2005 – Migration (non-Humanitarian) Program – (the former FaCS impact).
Total Financial Impact on the former FaCS Portfolio
Net spend of $19.4 million over four years.