LONDON – The subject of Australian immigration has been a hot topic during the run up to the Australian election, with both candidates showing a resolve to protect the Australian way of life by monitoring immigration if elected.
Current prime minister, Julia Gillard and Coalition leader, Tony Abbott have both been reticent to explain their policies in relation to how reducing Australian immigration might affect New Zealanders.
Liberal leader, Abbott plans to reduce net migration to 170,000 a year, which is a huge decrease from the peak of 300,000 in 2008 and he also said a review of migration in general was necessary. However, he did not outline whether or not this would include New Zealand, which currently has an open-door policy with Australia.
Meanwhile, Gillard has been promoting her view of ‘a sustainable Australia, but not a big Australia’ in line with her objective to protect the Australian culture. After Kevin Rudd stepped down as Labour leader in June, Gillard became first female Prime Minister of Australia.
Under the current government, Australia was the only country in the developed world to escape the effects of the global recession. Therefore, the economy and immigration have both been topics which the two main candidates have highlighted as key issues within their policies.
Immigration is obviously something which impacts highly on the economy as well as on jobs and Australians voters will undoubtedly be looking for some reassurance that both will remain stable.
A spokesperson for Global Visas, a leading Australia immigration agency, commented: “We receive tons of enquiries from people keen to emigrate to Australia, however they have notoriously firm guidelines in place for applicants and a certain number of places available. Judging from both candidates’ assertions on the subject, this looks unlikely to change and people will need to pay close attention to the requirements of the Australian government in order to gain a visa.”
Experts are saying at this stage that they doubt that the outcome, either way, would have that much effect on anybody other than students coming into the country or temporary workers. However, it remains to be seen for certain how the subject of immigration will work out exactly until we know who the elected Prime Minister of Australia is.