NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian says the state’s economic success is attracting a “far greater” share of immigrants than in the past. She has set up a three-member panel to look at the options to reduce migration to the state.
Like migration to Australia as a whole, net overseas migration to New South Wales has increased steadily this decade. In fact, it has doubled since it was 51,680 in 2010–11, and stood at 104,480 in 2016–17. And the premier is correct to say that the state’s share has gone up — from nearly 30 per cent to nearly 40 per cent.
But the rate of increase was relatively steady and should have been planned for, especially as the key drivers of the increase — students, visitors and offshore humanitarian entrants — were the result of federal government policy announcements.
Puzzlingly, none of the state governments ask the Commonwealth for detailed forecasts of net migration to their state. Yet this kind of information is vital for planning infrastructure and service delivery. It is even more disappointing that the Commonwealth doesn’t provide these forecasts as a matter of course, regularly updating them with policy changes and new data.
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