Up to 715,000 new migrants will arrive on Australia’s coast this year and next, according to revised government figures – with a record 400,000 this year alone
Tighter visa requirements are now being considered to turn the tide after the prime minister met with prime ministers to discuss the wave of new arrivals.
Anthony Albanese promised the national cabinet meeting on Friday that he would give state leaders more say over who is allowed to enter the country.
A wave of new applications will see 400,000 people arrive in 2023 – the most Australia has ever seen in a year – after Covid exclusion restrictions were lifted.
Government figures warn another 315,000 are expected next year, for a total of 715,000, compared to a previous combined estimate of just 470,000.
New measures will be included in the federal budget to ease the pressure on the housing crisis, including a $2 billion investment and tax cuts to encourage more residential development.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (pictured) has promised state and territory leaders more input on visa policy after the 2023 forecast revealed the highest number of migrants on record
Of the 400,000 migrants coming to Australia this year, nearly half are students responding to reduced exclusion laws following the pandemic
In October, the estimate for incoming migrants for 2023 was 235,000, with Mr Albanese citing reduced border restrictions as a primary driver for the new estimate, but that number has risen rapidly in the months since.
“If you look at this year’s figures, they are high,” the prime minister said on Friday after the national cabinet meeting.
“But that’s the recognition that the borders were closed earlier, so the population today is significantly lower than it would have been in terms of the projections that were there prior to the pandemic.”
He added that Australians staying at home also affected population growth as they have chosen to stay in the country.
“Australians (are) not going away in the numbers, and that will continue to be the case. They are not leaving to work abroad, to do the six-month visitation that took place.”
“I did it as a backpacker, as a young guy, like most of my generation.”
Students coming to study in Australia make up nearly half of the 400,000 number and about 70 per cent of the 165,000 increase since the October forecast.
Despite these statements, opposition immigration spokesman Dan Tehan claimed that Albanians were creating a ‘great Australia by stealth’, which will further fuel the housing crisis.
“What will be the impact on housing, on rents, on congestion and on interest rates,” Tehan said.
“The Australian people will suffer given the magnitude of these numbers.”
The Labor government plans to build a million homes over five years from 2024 to alleviate the crisis, as well as other budgetary measures to reduce the cost of living.
State leaders pledged to the national cabinet more protections for tenants in the states and territories, but did not promise uniform laws across the country.
Opposition immigration spokesman Dan Tehan claimed the workers’ government was creating a ‘major stealth’ in Australia amid the worsening rent crisis
The federal cabinet has promised to harmonize rent control across the states and territories, but has not promised uniform guarantees across the country
Labor is also counting on the Greens to back their $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund, which is currently tied up in the Senate.
The development incentives announced by the government will halve the current tax rate, from 30 percent to 15 percent, for foreign developers investing in owner-occupied homes after July 2024.
In March, Property Exchange Australia released data showing that 80 percent of tenants in Sydney were paying more than the asking price for their rent.
Nationally, rents are rising seven times faster than wages, according to a recent analysis Interest rates on housing recently increased to the highest level since 2012.