Migrants will be required to live in Australia’s regions or smaller states for five years or face losing the chance to apply for citizenship* under new plans to tackle crowding in our biggest cities.
Population and Urban Infrastructure* Minister Alan Tudge explained the plan yesterday and revealed that having Australian workers stuck in city traffic will cost $40 billion within 10 years.
Mr Tudge also said the government is looking into funding for fast rail links between big cities and surrounding regional hubs* in a speech to the Menzies Research Centre in Melbourne yesterday.
The minister outlined how infrastructure has failed to keep up with a population boom “turbocharged*” by higher rates of immigration since 2007.
“Overall, the costs of congestion* to the economy are already great, and rising steeply,” Mr Tudge said.
“This is a serious challenge for families and a serious economic* challenge for the nation. There was insufficient* infrastructure built in the early 2000s, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney, to cater* for forecast* growth, let alone the actual growth.”
The Daily Telegraph newspaper revealed in July that then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was considering tougher visa* requirements for new migrants to remain in regional areas to fill skill shortages.
The planned rules requiring new migrants to go to regional areas will not apply to people whose work is specific to a particular area, such as those sponsored* by companies, or to those given family visas*.
Those who break the rules could face penalties* such as losing their chance to apply for citizenship.
On October 9, 2018, Australia’s population was 25,097,515, which is just more than 25 million. We have the 53rd largest population in the world.
The biggest cities by population are Sydney (5.1 million), Melbourne (4.9 million) and Brisbane (2.4 million).
These three cities are also Australia’s fastest growing capitals.
citizenship: being a citizen of a particular country
infrastructure: basic things needed by a group of people, such as roads, water pipes, electricity, public transport
hubs: centres of areas or communities
turbocharged: made really powerful or fast
economic: to do with business and making and spending money
insufficient: not enough
cater: provide what is needed
visa: permission document to visit a country
sponsored: supported by someone, either with money or a job
family visas: permission to be in a country because family members are already there
penalties: punishments or fines
LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY
1. Who is Alan Tudge?
2. How much will traffic jams cost Australia within 10 years?
3. What is the government looking at building to help with traffic jams?
4. If migrants don’t agree to live in regional areas, what could happen?
5. What are the three biggest cities in Australia?
City v Regional
Work with a partner to come up with a list of advantages and disadvantages of having to live in a smaller, regional city rather than a major capital city.
Rule a page into two columns, with advantages at the top of one column and disadvantages at the top of the other and list your ideas down the page.
Do you think it’s fair for the government to make rules on where new migrants must live?
Extension: Why do you think it is that Australian workers stuck in traffic could be costing $40 billion within 10 years?
Time: Allow 20 minutes
Curriculum Links: English, Civics & Citizenship, Personal & Social
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many connectives as you can find in pink. Discuss if these are being used as conjunctions, or to join ideas and create flow.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Should migrants be allowed to choose where to live? Why or why not? Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No one-word answers.