WA Labor Migration Policy, What It Will Mean? - Visa Solutions Australia

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WA Labor Migration Policy, What It Will Mean? - Visa Solutions Australia

WA Labor Migration Policy, What It Will Mean? - Visa Solutions Australia

After eight and a half years of a Liberal leadership in WA, Labor has taken the helm with a resounding show of support for Mark McGowan.

While on the campaign trail, McGowan was extremely vocal about providing more employment opportunities under his proposed ‘WA Jobs First Policy’ claiming only ‘WA Labor had a plan for jobs and only a McGowan Labor Government would keep WA jobs in WA.’ 

There are currently 92,500 people unemployed in the State and he claims his focus is to ensure these people receive priority for job opportunities.  It may have a far-reaching effect on skilled migration into WA.

Skilled migration list

McGowan wants to radically limit migrants entering WA, either through 457 visas or on skilled migration programs.  He said it was going to be one of his first priorities when he took office.

McGowan strongly believes that with the current high rate of unemployment in WA, the State doesn’t need to bring in trades such as teachers and bricklayers and even nurses with specialist skills from overseas.  Currently only 59% of nurse graduates are finding positions within WA. He’s forged strong links with the unions who unanimously back his plans.

“We are going to tear up the list that the WA Government sent to Canberra which prioritises overseas workers into WA.  We should only be prioritising areas like specialist doctors such as hematologists, cancer doctors and the like,” McGowan announced last year.

Controversial decision

Outgoing Liberal Premier Colin Barnett has always claimed that McGowan was ‘turning his back’ on those skilled migrants who had contributed to the wealth of WA under the 457 programs.   

He claimed that typically there was only a 1000 people who arrived in the state annually on these visas.

“This is not a 457-temporary workforce, these are people who come out here under a business employee sponsored migration scheme and bring their families and usually take up Australian citizenship,” Barnett announced last year.

How will it be implemented?

The Western Australian Skilled Migration Occupation List is produced by the State Government and provided to the Federal Government. There are presently 168 occupations on the list and McGowan intends to replace it with roles that reflect WA’s changed economic circumstances.  Discussions with industry bodies will mean the new list will reflect the requirements of WA today.

Perth was added to the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme in 2011 during the peak of the mining boom. Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are not included in the migration program with the only capital cities represented being Perth, Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin.

McGowan wants to see Perth removed from this Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme and he has pledged to do this as a matter of urgency.

This inevitably could mean it will be tougher and harder to enter WA on a migration scheme and there will be a significant decrease in overseas workers filling jobs in WA.

Visa Solutions Australia can help you with all your migration requirements. 

As migration policy looks set to change under a Mark McGowan Labor Government, you’d be wise to seek professional advice, so why not give our team a ring.  

You can speak to us direct on 1800 828 008 or our local Perth number 0893282664.




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