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Australian Immigration answer to population decline

Australian Immigration answer to population decline

Old Oct 3rd 2002, 7:56 pm
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Cool Australian Immigration answer to population decline

[ Immigration only answer to population fall: minister

Australia will rely on immigration to stop a decline in its population in
the next 30 years, federal Multicultural Affairs Minister Gary Hardgrave
said today.

"On current population projections, immigration will be the only thing
preventing our population from declining in about 30 years time," Mr
Hardgrave told a conference on Australia's demographic future in Sydney

"The reality we are grappling with today is a declining fertility rate
which, since the mid 70s, has been well below the rate needed for
population replacement.

"Given current population projections, immigration will inevitably play an
even greater role in our future than it has done in the past."

The number of people aged 65 years or over is set to double by the mid
century, reaching 24 per cent, Mr Hardgrave said.

With the ageing population there is likely to be significant growth in the
number of people leaving the labour force.

Mr Hardgrave said Australia's economic growth would decline unless skilled
migrants entered the workforce.

"They're (baby boomers) now starting to hit retirement years and they're
not being replaced by an equally large group of younger people who are
paying taxes and running industries," he said.

"Bringing in young and skilled migrants to Australia means industries can
grow and expand and jobs can be created and older people can have their
future years looked after by those who are younger in the work force."

"When you actually import people with skills to Australia, this creates
jobs, it adds to the economy, there's an estimated ... tens of billions of
dollars boost over the next ten years simply because of our skilled
migration program."

The 2002/2003 migration program will be the largest and most highly skilled
in over a decade, offering between 100,000 and 110,000 places.

The Australian Population Association conference being held at the
University of New South Wales will also be addressed by demographers from
around Australia and overseas.]

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