Perth And The Gold Coast To Be Classified 'Regional'
From 16 November, the Federal Government will classify both Perth and the Gold Coast as regional areas for visa and migration purposes, in a bid to help stimulate the economies.
Regional Migration Scheme (RMS) provides special visas to both international skilled workers and students who move or currently live in regional areas of Australia. The program is designed to help encourage migrants to relocate to areas other than Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, which have traditionally accounted for up to 70% of Australia’s population growth.
The change for Perth and the Gold Coast means that now, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are the only cities classified as major Australian centers, with Canberra, Adelaide and Hobart already having regional status.
It’s hoped the new classification of both Perth and the Gold Coast will lead to increased population flows which will in turn help drive employment and property prices.
Currently, the migration cap of 160,000 places across the country remains unchanged, however, the 23,000 regional visas set aside for migrants who agree to work outside the major cities, will rise by 2,000 up to 25,000.
Simon de Vere, Director of Migration Services at Stirling Henry Migration believes the changes by the Federal Govemnerty will make both Perth and the Gold Coast more attractive destinations for workers wanting to relocate to Australia.
“Bringing Perth and the Gold Coast into the RMS really does assist people who are looking for a migration outcome, as they will be able to look at a regional visa. That suddenly makes both Perth and the Gold Coast a very attractive option as they can access that regional visa and an expanded list of eligible skilled occupations,” said Mr. de Vere.
“If you were previously living in Perth or the Gold Coast your only chance might have been to move to a regional area and now with these additional postcodes being added, your options have gone up dramatically.”
Perth, in particular, has seen significant population outflows since the end of the mining boom in 2014-15. That has coincided with a sharp decline in housing prices across the state. The most recent CoreLogic data has shown that property values in Perth are down -21.6% from their peak.
This fall has coincided with an exodus in the local population and sharp increases in vacancy rates across the metropolitan area, which got as high as 7%.
WA Premier Mark McGowan was particularly pleased by the move suggesting that it could potentially attract more international students and support the economy.
"Attracting more international students will help diversify and grow the State's economy and also create employment opportunities for Western Australians," said Mr. McGowan. "Given WA has no main university campuses outside of Perth, the State Government has adjusted its policies to ensure we are not disadvantaged.”
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the State and Federal Government will continue to work together going forward, to ensure the needs of all parties are met.
"As a regional city, Perth will be an option for international students who want to study here, as they will now be eligible for an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa," said Minister Cormann.
"That additional year of post-study work by international students who choose Perth will not only benefit students with work experience, income, and post-study financial stability but also help drive stronger economic growth."