The coronavirus pandemic will hit Australian regions and territories which are heavily reliant on migration to drive population growth the hardest, says the Treasury’s Centre for Population.
According to officials from the Centre for Population, Australia’s imposed travel restrictions and border closures will damage the economy and growth of these regions.
This becomes evident in light of the fact that overseas migration made up for 26 per cent of the regional population growth in Australia.
Merrick Peisley, principal adviser of the Centre for Population, told a parliamentary inquiry that a decrease in net overseas migration would lead to Australia’s image as an attractive migration destination diminish, and regions relying on foreign migrants for growth would be severely affected.
In some regions in Victoria and New South Wales, overseas migration led to more than 50 per cent of the population growth, while in Queensland the figure was around the 30 per cent mark.
In addition to driving up the population, overseas migrants also accounted for approximately half of all migration to Western Australia’s wheat belt and southern outback.
A decline in migrants moving to Australia’s resource-rich areas is certain to hinder the economic growth of those areas significantly.
The statement comes in the wake of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (ACCI) plea to the Australian government to reopen borders for skilled migrants to enter Australia in order to combat the economic and fiscal setbacks caused by the pandemic.
Because of the ongoing pandemic, Australia’s net overseas migration is expected to fall from 154,000 in 2019/20 to only 31,000 in 2020/21.