Pass Mark

Old Jan 19th 2002, 6:46 pm
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Hi All,
I know there was talk on here a few weeks a go about the pass mark being raised, has anybody any further information on this, as to whether there may be a rise in the near future, or to any hints being made about any changes come the new imigration year.

Thanks as always
Sarah
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Old Jan 20th 2002, 3:45 am
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Business tells Howard: lift immigration

By LOUISE DODSON
Friday 7 December 2001

At a corporate lawyers' boardroom lunch just after the federal election, a lively discussion broke out over the impact of the uncompromising policy of the government and the opposition on asylum seekers on Australia's export prospects and image in Asia.

Of particular concern was how the policy in the medium term may affect Australia's ability to attract fee-paying foreign students.

The view around the table was that the Tampa policy of preventing asylum seekers landing on Australian territory had damaged us in the eyes of the world. It made Australia appear isolationist, out of touch with the region.

All of which has strengthened the resolve of business groups to urge the government to promote immigration as a positive for Australia.

Business leaders are convinced Australia needs higher immigration levels as part of a comprehensive population policy.

There are social, foreign policy and cultural reasons for increasing immigration and developing a well-rounded population policy, but most of all there are economic reasons.

"It makes sense to have a younger growing population than an older shrinking one," said one business analyst. "And given that we have a rapidly declining birth rate, that means higher immigration."

As part of developing a comprehensive population policy, higher immigration levels are essential for ensuring economic growth, higher living standards and an effective workforce, business groups argue.

Access Economics has found that for every 1000 business migrants there is a $49million increase to Australia's bottom line over five years. Skilled migrants boost it by $3.1million for every 1000 migrants over five years.

Although the Coalition's Tampa policy in the election showed there are votes to be won by putting up the barriers, business is not daunted in its push for higher immigration levels, and wants the government to promote it overseas.

Business groups are getting ready to push for an increase in immigration - especially from the skilled and business categories.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is finalising a submission to the government urging an increase in immigration.The chamber wants the influx lifted to 130,000 a year. The priority would be to lift the skilled and business migrant categories, but all categories of migrants, including refugees and family reunion migrants, would also be increased.

The chamber believes that the government should do more to promote Australia overseas as a destination for skilled and business migrants.

"Higher immigration adds to investment and living standards and creates jobs," says the chamber's chief executive officer, Mark Paterson.

He says a comprehensive population policy includes measures to ensure border protection.

The Business Council of Australia is also pressing for higher immigration levels, including refugees.

"Our members view higher immigration as an issue of great significance to the country and one where the solution will take time to implement, so should be considered now," said council spokesman John Hine.

However, the government argues that it is difficult to lift levels of skilled and business migrants, simply because there are not many of them in the first place.

But business says this is because the government does not sufficiently promote its skilled and business migration programs overseas.

Some potential skilled migrants could also be discouraged by what is seen to be a climate of antipathy towards them as a result of Pauline Hanson's One Nation party and the Tampa hysteria.

Although One Nation's vote in the recent election fell compared with the 1998 election, it was still comparatively high, with one in 12 people voting for One Nation.

It is therefore arguably even more important for the government to promote Australia's immigration and multicultural policies both in the region and further afield.

Yet the government argues that it is not easy to promote skilled and business migration opportunities because Australia could be seen to be discriminatory.

If Australia promoted business migration in Europe and America, Third World countries would see it as discriminating against them, government sources say, and it is pointless to promote it in other countries.

Another issue is that Third World countries are sensitive about richer countries trying to attract their most highly educated people, according to the government sources.

The Howard Government may not want a debate about higher immigration, but as momentum builds, particularly in the business community, it will not be able to avoid it.

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Old Jan 21st 2002, 4:18 pm
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Any other comments?
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Old Jan 29th 2002, 11:14 pm
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Do you mean OZ or NZ!!
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Old Jan 29th 2002, 11:26 pm
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Do you mean OZ or NZ!!

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