Australia Considers Major Immigration Updates – General Immigration


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The Australian government is in the early stages of examining
major changes to the country’s immigration system. According to
statements by Home Affairs Minister Clare
O’Neil, the government has engaged a team of experts to conduct
a comprehensive review designed to ensure the country’s
immigration system “serves Australia’s national interests
and complements the skills and capabilities of Australian
workers.” While details on the scope of the report are still
forthcoming, it is expected to focus on strategies for ensuring
skilled labor for businesses, enhancing worker productivity, and
navigating issues associated with an aging workforce. The
experts’ report is expected to be delivered to the government
by the end of February 2023.

Looking Ahead: “A Migration System for Australia’s

Preparation of the report – to be titled “A Migration
System for Australia’s Future” – follows assertions
by the Home Minister that Australia’s immigration system is
“broken,” including allegations that the visa system has
been exploited by criminal elements. However, the report is
intended to be a broader review of the immigration system, and is
expected to encompass a review (or even elimination) of
Australia’s skilled occupation list, which the Home Minister
argued is not currently evidence-based.

The expert panel guiding the review is intended to conduct
extensive consultations with migrants, unions, businesses, states
and territories, and other key stakeholders. The three members of
the expert panel are:

  • Dr. Martin Parkinson AC PSM — Chancellor
    of Macquarie University and former Secretary of the Department of
    Prime Minister and Cabinet, Secretary to the Treasury, inaugural
    Secretary of the Department of Climate Change, and an International
    Monetary Fund official.

  • Dr. Joanna Howe — Associate Professor in
    Law at the University of Adelaide and a consultant with Harmers
    Workplace Lawyers. Dr. Howe is a leading expert on the legal
    regulation of temporary labor migration and was appointed to the
    Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration in 2021.

  • Mr. John Azarias — Former senior partner
    at Deloitte in Sydney and former member of the Ministerial Advisory
    Council for Skilled Migration. Mr. Azarias has carried out reviews
    commissioned by the Commonwealth Government in the areas of
    defense, immigration, foreign affairs and trade, and agriculture,
    as well as a review of the Board of Treasurers for State and
    Territory Treasurers.

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