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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.

Discuss jobs and careers in Australia

Moving to Sydney from India – the best places to live

Sydney Australia

Moving to a new city or country can be stressful. Many migrants who move from India suffer from culture shock and struggle to socialise and embed into the population.

A recent study has shown that more than 130,000 people settled in Sydney, were born in India. The Indian population isn’t spread out and in fact a few suburbs contain the majority of the Indian population living in Sydney. This guide has been created to inform Indian migrants about the best to live in Sydney

The prices for accommodation in and around the Sydney CBD/City are sky high and therefore migrants may want to instead consider living in the suburbs of Sydney. The following suburbs have housing that is both reasonably priced and provides easy access to public transport:

1) Parramatta and Harris Park

While the Parramatta and Harris Park suburbs lay a long distance away (23 Kilometres) from the main city, they also happen to contain the highest percentages of Indians in Sydney. Parramatta is often regarded as the second CBD of the city.

The suburbs bustle with Indian culture and the sight of Indian grocers, restaurants, boutiques and beauty parlours make them feel like home. It doesn’t take long to find tiffin and cooking services in the Parramatta area.

When moving to Sydney, alot of parents are worried that their kids will miss out on the significance of understanding of their own cultural customs. To counteract this, children are taught some aspects of Indian culture and history in school.

Diwali, also known as the “festival of lights” is celebrated by the pupils and staff of these schools. It is easy to forget while celebrating the occasion that you aren’t in India. These suburbs are mainly populated by traditional Indian families and students. It is really easy to find a public or private hospital as there are quite a few in the area.

Due to all of these factors, it is easy for a fresh migrant to acclimatise to new surroundings. However, Parramatta and Harris Park suffer from insecurity and crime which may be a turn-off for some people. The following suburbs are considered a safer alternative:

2) Strathfield, Homebush, Homebush West

Asians and Indians make up a majority of the population living in Strathfield. While the suburb is really close to the CBD, it also suffers from overcrowding. The north western parts of the inner suburbs are connected to Strathfield via an interchange station and bus hub.

Homebush is located 15 kilometres west of Sydney’s CBD. Homebush and Homebush West are highly recommended for families and large houses can be found at cheap prices. Slow speed trains stop at Homebush station in Homebush and at Flemington station in Homebush West around every quarter hour.

Indian grocers, restaurants and parlours can be found within a 3 Km radius of these suburbs

3) Liberty Grove

Liberty grove is a quiet and peaceful filled with greenery and places to relax. Despite being located less than 20 kilometres from the CBD, Liberty Grove emits a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere.It contains both massive apartment complexes and cute town houses. This dichotomy means there is something for everyone. It’s truly a hidden gem.

The Liberty Grove complex houses various sports and activities venues making it ideal for families with kids. Some of these venues are: swimming pools, tennis courts, basketball courts, gymnasiums, and parks.

Read More Sydney Suburb Guides

Study and Stay in Australia on the 485 Temporary Graduate visa

International Students in Australia

Australia has been hit with a boom of international students taking advantage of the Australian 485 visa and its privilege to stay in Australia for an extended term of up to 4 years once they have graduated.

The Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa offers international students the right to come and study in Australia, with the opportunity of an extended stay of up to 2 years once the studies have been completed – with the stay reaching 4 years for those doing some higher degrees.

In March 50,000 international students were in Australia on the 485 visa, a staggering rise of 16,000 in one year. While studying, the students are capped under visa policy and can work no more than 20 hours per week of semesters. But “post-graduation” the visa loses all its restrictions, and the international graduates can stay with no employment related time or occupation restrictions, giving them full working rights.

The visa was revised in 2013, a revision that gave longer stays after graduation and less restrictions on post-graduation employment. In 2016 the I-graduate International Student Satisfaction survey, an initiative partly funded by the Department of Education and Training, found that the ability to work freely after graduation was of more importance to international students than being able to complete part-time work during study.

Last year, 350 000 international students were enrolled into Australian Universities, an increase of more than 100 000 in 3 years. This inflation of international students, and the gap between enrolling and graduating, is indicative of the number of international graduates we are to see entering into the Australian workforce in years to come.

And while this boom which has seen the number of temporary visa graduates double since 2015, has caused political parties such as Labor to question the government’s ongoing dedication to the integrity of Australian migration, and future job opportunism for Australian graduates.

The Vice- Chancellor of the Australian National University, Professor Brian Schmidt disagrees, telling the ABC that he believes the 485 visa offers international students the chance to study with “flexibility” and “incentives” including travel and financial benefits. He believes it is a program that gives back and allows highly trained individuals to add to the Australian economy.

“They’re not displacing other work, they’re actually very high value people that are hard to attract.”
And while the visa allows for avenues to residency, most graduates return to their home countries once the extended stay period is over. So why do they choose to study in Australia? The 2016 i-graduate survey found that Australia’s reputation on providing quality education, educational institutes and qualifications were the big draw cards for those considering studying abroad.

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Emigrating to Australia? Join us today for Free migration help and advice is a social network for people emigrating to Australia.

Online since 2005, we have helped thousands of members obtain visas for Australia to start a new life down under.

We have over 50,000 members (including many migration agents) who are available to offer free help and advice on all aspects of the migration journey and subsequent life in Australia.

In addition to the forums, we also have an ever expanding articles section, which is packed with useful information about migration, jobs, suburbs, education, shipping and much more.

Moving to Australia is getting much harder. For the 2017 – 2018 year, Australia had an annual cap of 190,000 places. However, they only accepted 162,000 permanent migrants – well below the annual cap and the lowest intake in 10 years.

In addition to the reduced intake, the number of points required via SkillSelect in order to get an invitation to apply for a visa, rose steadily throughout the year, making it harder and harder to get a visa.

The table below shows how the points require to apply for a the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 489) has risen from 60 at the start of the year to 80 (and actually hit 85 at one stage).

Emigrating to Australia

The Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189) (Points-tested) stream has seen less of a fluctuation, averaging around the 70 mark +/- 5 points either way.

The reduction in visa grants and increase in points required to even apply has meant that emigrating to Australia is more difficult than ever before.

There’s also lots of political rhetoric in Australia at the moment about migration and population size, so it’s possible that the migration intake will drop in coming years.

However, all is not lost, if moving down under is your dream then let us make it a reality. If you’re got a migration question or need to devise a strategy to obtain a visa, then we can help.






Immigration still driving NSW population growth

Over the last five years, New South Wales has never seen so much of its population leave the state. In 2016 alone, 15,160 people left NSW for other states and territories. However in 2016, New South Wales also had one of the biggest growths in population size than anywhere else in the country.

The three inner-city areas of Sydney, New South Wales that suffered the greatest devastation to their populations were the inner-south west, followed by the eastern suburbs, the inner-south west and Parramatta. Over 29,000 people left from suburbs within the inner south-west such as Bankstown, Canterbury and Hurstville, with the majority left for the outer south-west largely due to housing affordability. In the eastern suburbs, 18,000 people left during this same time frame. A total of 18,100 Sydney-siders left to regional NSW and other states during the year, suffering the greatest loss of people than any other state. Though, Western Australia also struggled with a loss of 14,000 people from their population to other states.

Despite Parramatta suffering a great loss of people from the area, the suburb had the greatest increase in population as a result of overseas migration in 2016 at a net increase of 13,400 people. The inner south west of Sydney also saw a net increase of 13,315 people who were overseas immigrants. Sydney, altogether, saw an increase in population of a total of 84,700 people who were overseas immigrants.

On average, according to the 2016 annual summary of migration in Australia by the Bureau, there were a total of 377,000 people who moved interstate, 276,000 who moved overseas and 539,000 who arrived as immigrants. 84,700 of total immigrants in 2016 were overseas immigrants. Most of these immigrants hold temporary visas, with students being the largest number of individuals within that category. In 2016, a total of 100,000 international students arrived in Australia. Individuals on temporary skilled working visas made up 32,000 of immigrants, and individuals on holiday visas made up 50,000. Less than 1/5th of all immigrants were permanent migrants.

Migrating individuals from overseas was largely the reason for the swell in the New South Wales population in 2016, with the arrival of a total of 104,500 immigrants. The number of arrived immigrants for New South Wales was followed closely by Victoria, with a total of 90,000 immigrants arriving in the state.

Numbers of immigrants arriving in Australia are likely to drop in 2018 as the effect of what the Turnbull government describe as being a stricter “recruiting exercise”. On multiple occasions, Labor have accused temporary migrants of “stealing” jobs from Australians and have indicated that as a result of this, the number of immigrants allowed into the country could be reduced. These expressions from Labor have not been met with approval by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who have accused Labor of reforming the current immigration policy in exchange for votes from Australian citizens as the “Super Saturday” byelections draw near.

Increasing number of millionaires moving to Australia

Recent released figures from the Department of Home Affairs show that the number of millionaires migrating to Australia jumped to 7260 in the 2016-17 year. This is despite concerns raised from the Business Council of Australia over Australia’s high income tax rate dampening the migration of millionaires from Asian countries such as China, Malaysia and Vietnam. This influx of the high net work individuals is providing a multi-million dollar investment surge into major Australian cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.

Visa applications have increased by 74% in 2016-2017 for individuals with more than $2.25 million in business and personal assets. During 2016-17 9051 Visa applications were submitted, which is up from 5781 in 2014-15. Of these applications, 7260 were approved.

A fast track Visa can be obtained in as little as 40 days and does not require the migrant to pass tests related to English skills, employment qualifications or education. The “significant investor 188” Visa stream asks foreigners to invest $5 million of their funds into Australian shares, bonds, manages funds, and commercial real estate. 2000 of these Visas have been approved so far, resulting in a $10 billion cash injection into the Australian economy.

In 2017 Australia had a net migration of 10, 000 millionaires, which is the highest net migration of millionaires to any country in the last year, according to John Daley of the Grattan Institute.

Although Australia has a comparably high top marginal tax rate of 45%, which begins at an income of $180 001, it has not deterred many foreigners from wishing to move here. Singapore with its low income tax rate of 15% attracted only 1000 millionaires to its shores.

There are many other reasons why foreigners are seeking to move to Australia. For example Australia has an agreeable climate, is politically stable, with low crime rates and good educational opportunities. Australia’s proximity to the Asian continent, similar time zones and lack of inheritance taxes were also reasons given by many wealthy Asian foreigners in their decision to move here, rather than the UK or USA.

The increasing political strain between China and Australia has not slowed down the private Chinese migration in 2016-17 with mainland China providing 90% of the millionaires migrating to Australia, followed by Hong Kong.

China has become a powerhouse for creating newly minted millionaires in the last 10 years, as a result of its unimpeded growth in the technology, constructions and manufacturing sectors.

One Chinese investor observed he made the decision to transfer his wealth to Australia to become eligible for a Visa once his children started studying in Australia.

It’s an advantageous Visa program for many. Migrants do not have to come to Australia and work, it provides the flexibility to invest $5 million in local shares and projects and their children will be able to attend Australian schools and universities.

AfrAsia Bank which polls its wealthiest clients, advises that Australians can expect to see an increase in the lifestyle and hobbies of the rich such as watch collecting, fly-fishing and New York style “hotel residences”.


Australian Unemployment Rate at Five Year Low

The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently released the latest unemployment figures.

The trend unemployment rate was 5.4% in the month of June 2018.

“Over the year to June, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points. This continues a gradual decrease in the trend unemployment rate from late 2014 and is the lowest rate since January 2013,” said the Chief Economist for the ABS, Bruce Hockman. 

Employment and hours

Trend employment increased by around 27,000 persons in June 2018 and the growth was evenly split between full-time and part-time employment, with both increasing by over 13,000 persons. The net increase of 27,000 persons comprised well over 300,000 people entering employment, and more than 300,000 leaving employment in the month.

The trend participation rate remained steady at 65.6 per cent in June 2018, after the May figure was revised up.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 318,000 persons or 2.6 per cent, which was above the average year-on-year growth over the past 20 years (2.0 per cent).

15 to 19 year olds have contributed around a third of trend employment growth since January 2018. Employment for 15 to 19 year olds increased by over 6,000 in June 2018 and grew by around 58,000 over the last year.

The trend monthly hours worked increased by 3.4 million hours or 0.2 per cent in June 2018, and by 2.6 per cent over the past year.

States and Territories

Year-on-year growth in trend employment was above the 20 year average in all states and territories except for Victoria and Western Australia. Over the past year, the states and territories with the strongest annual growth in trend employment were New South Wales (3.7 per cent), Australian Capital Territory (2.9 per cent) and Queensland (2.6 per cent).

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