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Australian Senator still agitating for inquiry into population size

Liberal senator Dean Smith has warned Malcolm Turnbull a failure to listen to the mood of voters will “seal our electoral fate” as he ramps up pressure on the government to support a Senate inquiry into population.

He said there was a “strong appetite” from crossbenchers for the probe and he will meet the Prime Minister this week to push the case for the government to back it.

Senator Smith said it would be a mistake for the government to oppose the proposed year-long inquiry, arguing a key message from the Longman by-election was the need to listen to the concerns of voters.

“A critical lesson from the recent by-election results for the Coalition is the importance of fine tuning its political antennae to ensure we are listening and responding appropriately to the issues importance of daily importance to Australians and their families,” Senator Smith said.

“The population debate is exactly the type of issue the Coalition can use to demonstrate we are genuinely listening to electors. Failing to listen or responding tardily to policy issues will seal our electoral fate.

“I remain strongly of the view the Australian people now earnestly want to have an active voice in shaping our population policy over the medium term and a Senate led inquiry will give them a powerful and historical opportunity to do so.”

More than five Coalition MPs have publicly backed the probe as well as crossbench senators David Leyonhjelm, Fraser Anning and Stirling Griff, while Tim Storer said he would back it as long as it focused on encouraging migrants to his home state of South Australia.

RBA governor defends Australia’s immigration intake

As Australia’s population passed the twenty five million mark this week, Philip Lowe, the RBA governor has taken the opportunity to promote the immigration’s economic benefits.

Speaking at a business lunch in Sydney, he said Australia’s population growth rate of 1.5% per year was a “basis for optimism about the future of our economy” as is as producing a younger, more economically resilient country.

“The movement to Australia of large numbers of young people over the past decade has changed our demographic profile in a positive way,” Dr Lowe said, pointing out that Australia’s median age of 37 years made it “one of the youngest countries among the advanced economies”.

“Migration has helped our economy adjust to large swings in the demand for labour, and helped address some particular skills shortages.”

The government has come under attack from Mr Abbott and former NSW premier Bob Carr, among others, for permitting population growth that puts pressure on housing and infrastructure. Dr Lowe noted such concerns but said investment was catching up. “The growth in the number of dwellings exceeded growth in the population over the past four years,” he said.

He said growth in the number of young immigrants had slashed the forecast median age for 2040 from 40, since 2002. “Over the past five years, over 80 per cent of net overseas migration has been accounted for by people under the age of 35,” he said.

More than half the annual population increase has been due to immigration, especially of students. And about a sixth of foreign students in Australia, currently about 500,000, stay in Australia after completing their studies.

“People living in Australia who were born overseas are more likely than the average Australian to have a post-secondary school qualification,” Dr Lowe said.

“We also benefit from stronger overseas connections when foreign students return home after studying in Australia.”

NSW Skilled Nominated Visa migration 2018-19 Program

Australia Visa

The NSW Government have announced the commencement of their Skilled Nominated Visa program for the 2018-19 financial year. They will continue to select and invite top ranking candidates in occupations on the NSW 190 Priority Skilled Occupation List (NSW 190 List). They will select and invite candidates on an ongoing basis throughout the financial year.

About the NSW nomination program

NSW runs the skilled nominated visa migration (190) program in order to attract highly skilled people in a range of occupations to contribute to NSW skills needs. NSW’s position as an appealing destination for skilled migrants is confirmed beyond doubt by the significant demand shown for NSW nomination for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190).

In recognition of ongoing high demand and to ensure that places allocated under the program are aligned to the skills needs of the state’s economy, NSW has a selection-based invitation process for the 190 program. Under this process, NSW selects and invites the most suitable candidates from SkillSelect to apply for NSW nomination.

Our selection and invitation process ensures that places allocated under the NSW program are aligned to the skills needs of NSW.

NSW Skilled nominated Visa (190) program 2017-18

In the 2017-18 financial year we will continue to select and invite top ranking candidates in occupations on the NSW 190 Priority Skilled Occupation List (NSW 190 List).

We will select and invite candidates on an ongoing basis throughout the financial year. There are no key dates involved in this process.

About the Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190)

The Skilled Nominated Visa (190 visa) is a permanent visa for eligible highly skilled workers to help meet skill needs in the state of NSW.

Under the 190 program:

  • The New South Wales Government can nominate highly skilled workers with an occupation on the NSW 190 Priority Skilled Occupation List (NSW 190 List).
  • The 190 visa is a points-tested visa. Candidates who receive a NSW nomination are awarded five additional points towards their overall points score.
  • Candidates nominated by NSW need to agree to live and work in NSW for at least their first two years in Australia while holding this visa.

The visa criteria and visa application process is administered by the Department of Home Affairs.

Candidates who are invited to apply for NSW nomination need to demonstrate that they meet both NSW’s and Commonwealth’s visa eligibility requirements.

Key steps for candidates

The key steps involved for NSW nomination for a 190 visa are detailed in our how to apply fact sheet or you can review the steps below:

  1. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect
    Ensure that you meet 190 visa criteria
    Record your details in an EOI in SkillSelect
    Indicate interest for NSW nomination for a 190 visa
    You do not need to contact NSW after submitting your EOI
  2. Regularly check your emails to see if you have been invited by NSW. 
    There is no set timeframe to expect an invitation after submitting an EOI. Invitations are not guaranteed.
  3. If selected, you will receive an invitation to  apply for NSW nomination by email
  4. Recheck your eligibility
    If you apply, you must be able to demonstrate that you meet the claims that were in your EOI when you were invited
    Read Are you eligible
  5. Submit an application for NSW nomination and wait for the outcome
    Candidates must submit an online application within 14 days of receiving the invitation to apply
    NSW nomination applications usually take 12 weeks to process. Please note, application fees are not refundable.
  6. If nominated, you will receive a SkillSelect invitation to apply for the 190 visa
  7. Apply for the Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190) to the Department of Home Affairs
    Submit a visa application within 60 days of being nominated by NSW
  8. The Department of Home Affairs will advise you of the decision on your visa application
  9. If your visa is granted, move to NSW and commence your two year commitment to live and work in the state

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Average personal incomes across different areas of Australia



The Australian Bureau of Statistics has recently published data on personal incomes across Australia’s local government areas for the 2015-16 period.

The average median income across local government areas, generally the most common amount earned was $47,692, an increase of 1.8% on the previous financial year and a rise of 17% since 2010-11.

People in the ACT generally earned the most with a median income of $63,000 while Tasmanians earned the least with a median income of $44,000.

Workers in the Northern Territory have seen the highest wage growth over five years, with many earning 21% more now than in 2011.

At state level, the ABS has calculated which local government areas in each state had the highest number of rich residents. And in some states there are a few surprises.

Not in NSW though. The harbourside Woollahra council area, which includes the Point Piper home of the PM, deluxe mansions and pricey eateries galore, was the richest with a median income of $74,000 a year.

In Melbourne, Stonington residents, the area that includes swish South Yarra and terribly posh Toorak, topped the Victorian table with an income of $60,500.

If those incomes seem a bit low for areas brimful of millionaires, that’s because they are also areas with Australia’s biggest income inequality.

In Woollahra, 55% of the income is generated by just 10% of the residents with more than half of people not considered “high earners” which drags the median figure down.

Yet these Melbourne and Sydney rich spots are positively povo compared to Australia’s richest local government area. In terms of the sheer number of people earning a packet, that was Ashburton in Western Australia. Not heard of it? It’s situated in the far north west of Western Australian covering a chunk of the Pilbara mining region.

The median income for the Shire of Ashburton’s mere 13,000 residents, is $101,000. Tom Price and Paraburdoo, the area’s two main towns, are centres for the mining industry.

The relative equality of high wages in these areas pushes up the median income. And while low income earners exists, they are heavily outnumbered.

It’s a similar picture in Queensland where the remote Cape York town of Weipa tops the list with incomes of $81,000 annually. It’s the site of the world’s largest bauxite mine.

In South Australia, residents of the desert oasis of Roxby Downs, close to the Olympic Dam copper and uranium mines, earn the most.

Research in 2017 by employment website Seek found Australia’s mining states were all seeing average advertised salaries increase faster than the national average due to a rebound in commodity prices. In WA wages were up 3.7% per cent.

Despite passing the peak of the mining boom, it’s still a very lucrative industry to find yourself in. According to website Payscale, the median income from a miner in Australia is $106,000, more than double that of the average Australian.

The high wages in mining is because the profession needs specialised skills and people willing to spend time in some of Australia’s most inhospitable and remote neighbourhoods.

Employers are now worried that wages will head even higher as skill shortages bite due to a fall-off in people training to be miners and limits on hiring foreign workers.

“I’m less worried about the (salary) pressures than our actual ability to get workers of the calibre we require,” Northern Star Resources chief executive Stuart Tonkin told the West Australian last month.

Universities have said that as soon as a downturn occurs, applications to mining courses tend to drop. Because training and initial work experience can take four to seven years, the industry is then vulnerable if there is a sudden demand for workers.

South Canberra in the ACT, Palmerston in the Northern Territory and Hobart in Tasmania are their respective state or territory’s top earning areas.

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