All of Australia and much of the world is focused on the devastating bushfires that are currently ripping through our country. While the immediate goal is getting these fires under control and ultimately extinguishing them, thoughts at some point will turn to what happens after the fires.
Many towns have already been ravaged by these fires. Once the threat is over, the re-building phase will commence. While there is a lot of talk about the money needed to re-build communities, consideration also needs to be given to what resources and skills will be required for the re-construction stage. While it may not seem obvious at the moment, these bushfires and the re-building phase will have an impact on migration.
The biggest question may be: How should migration policy respond in the wake of such a devastating event?
While an important question as a whole, it gets us thinking about factors both general and in relation to migration, such as:
- How will each government department respond?
- Does the devastation of these bush fires change the demand for skilled occupations for these regional areas?
- What occupations currently on the regional occupation lists will be affected by these fires?
Each question opens a can of worms in itself.
How will each government department respond?
This is a question that can only be answered once the government has actually responded. An assessment of the devastated areas will need to be made to determine what each community will need to re-build. State and Federal government departments relating to Agriculture, Environment and Regional Development, to name a few, will no doubt respond in some way. In relation to migration, we can only wait and see if there are increases in migration numbers, changes to skilled occupations lists etc.
Does the devastation of these bushfires change the demand for skilled occupations for these regional areas?
The re-building phase that will follow the devastation of these bushfires will require hands-on help. The demand for skilled workers in the carpentry, bricklaying, construction or medical industries may possibly increase.
What occupations currently on the lists will be affected by these fires?
Needless to say there may be an impact on the demand for certain occupations. Perhaps the demand for workers in industries such as Tourism and the like may experience a drop in demand in the immediate future. Once the re-building phase is underway these occupations may again see an increase in demand.
Addressing the needs resulting from the bushfires will no doubt be categorised by priority. Whether the issues need to be addressed immediately, in the next 2 -3 years, or in 5 years will have an impact on migration, especially in relation to occupation lists and the demand for varying occupations.
We should also take into account what our current migrants are doing to help our country. They are not only contributing in their chosen occupations but there are instances where they have stepped up and volunteered to help local fire authorities to save our country from burning. This shows not only a love for our country but that they are fully committed to integrating in our communities.
While we may all be curious as to how these bushfires affect migration policy, first and foremost our thoughts and well wishes are with the victims of these horrendous bushfires.
If you would like to learn more about migration contact the Visa Solutions Australia team.