Oct 2018 | Why the Coalition's half-baked plan to push migrants into the regions cannot work

Date: 11 Oct 2018

Source: The Guardian

Alan Tudge, the minister for cities, urban infrastructure and population, on Tuesday repeated a suggestion that migrants might be forced to live in regions or cities other than Melbourne and Sydney. His proposal was first mooted in August and the lack of any further details or specifics in the latest iteration suggest the policy is more about talking than acting. That is just as well, because the driver of migration destination remains not government penalties or even incentives, but jobs. 

I grew up in country South Australia and, like most of my school friends, as soon as I finished high school, I left. I finished university in the early 1990s at a time when the recession was so deep that in South Australia there were 48 unemployed for every job vacancy (currently there are four unemployed per vacancy). So, like many others of my age, I left the state. I lived in far north Queensland for a decade and then moved to Canberra after getting a job there in the public service.

My story is not all that unusual, and it goes to the problems governments both federal and state have with migration and population. I, like most people, moved to where there was work.