Foreign workers who migrate to Australia must live in the interior of the country, outside the cities of Sydney and Melbourne, for five years, Australian Population Minister Alan Tudge said today.
"The key here is the distribution of growth, rather than the number of growth," Tudge told ABC, before giving a speech in Melbourne about the government's plans for population growth and the reception of immigrants.
The new plan plans to grant visas with restrictions to counteract the growth of Sydney and Melbourne, which have exceeded forecasts of population growth by one hundred percent in the last decade, according to the minister.
The authorities could revoke visas for those who violate the imposed conditions or deny them the possibility of applying for permanent residency or applying for citizenship, Tudge added, adding that he did not provide further details.
The situation in Sydney and Melbourne contrasts with the efforts of other cities in the country to attract immigrants or farmers in rural areas who ask for the importation of temporary workers to supply a shortage of about 100,000 day laborers.
Immigrants account for 60 percent of the population growth over the last decade in major cities, and last year 87 percent of the 111,000 skilled immigrants who arrived in the country settled in Sydney and Melbourne.
Tudge indicated that this situation involves a cost of AUD 25,000 million (USD 17,695 million or EUR 15,398) due to congestion in these cities and that this amount could increase to almost double in a decade.
The government intends to distribute the growth "so as not to have the same pressure as in Melbourne, Sydney and the south-east of Queensland (where Brisbane is located)," said Tudge, who attributed this unbalanced growth to infrastructure imbalances.
"The infrastructure that was built in early 2000, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, is insufficient to cope with the growth projection, even the current one," according to an excerpt from the speech given today by The Australian newspaper.
Australia has visas designed to attract foreigners to the interior, but government data indicate that one in ten of those arriving in the country under those programs move to the city within 18 months of arrival.
In 2016-17, 4,766 qualified immigrants arrived in the so-called regional areas but half of them were concentrated in Perth, the largest city in the west of the country, so it was removed from the list of regional destinations that still includes the cities of Darwin, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart.