Temporary migrant labour is increasing in significance in many industrialised countries, including Australia. More than a decade ago, a commentator observed that there was a ‘quiet revolution’ occurring in relation to the admission of temporary migrant workers to Australia. Eight years later, a leading demographer considered the shift from permanent to temporary migration as probably the ‘greatest change’ made to Australian immigration in the last decade. That this change is far from transitory is captured in the suggestion that there is now a ‘permanent shift to temporary migration’.

Image: Dennis Kuhn / flickr

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