‘NSW Premier… will today continue her mission to turn immigration into a state issue, announcing a six-point plan to address the state’s “ballooning population”‘
A news article from ABC News reads as follows:
In yet another foray into the issue and its impact on Sydney, Ms Berejiklian said she planned to have a “frank conversation” with her fellow premiers and Prime Minister Scott Morrison at today’s COAG meeting in Adelaide.
After calling for immigration to the state to be halved, the Premier in October announced the formation of an “expert panel” to assess the current rate of population growth to give the state “a breather” and for infrastructure projects to catch up.
Ms Berejiklian will today reveal what she called the “initial input” from the panel, which includes the consideration of a Canadian migration system, giving provinces and territories a bigger say in migration levels.
Other proposals in the six-point plan include:
* Better data sharing and forward planning by the Commonwealth, with three-to-five-year forecasts of migration levels
* Greater state input on skilled-migrant needs, to address “more localised” skill shortages
* A call for states to have complete discretion on federal infrastructure spend, with “better alignment” to state infrastructure priorities
* A dedicated COAG meeting on the issue
Ms Berejiklian also proposed incentives to attract international students to the regions. She said the expert panel found 98.8 per cent of all international students educated in NSW, attended universities in Sydney.
The Premier has morphed the migration issue into a talking point in recent months, as Sydneysiders experience over-crowding pressures on roads and essential services around the city.
However some commentators have accused the Premier of using immigration as a scapegoat issue ahead of the March election.
The State Opposition has previously labelled the Premier’s comments on immigration and its impact on the city as the “height of hypocrisy”.
Ms Berejiklian said today’s meeting was the start of a process to allow NSW to get “ahead of the game” on population.
“Today will be the first time we will be able to have a frank conversation about this issue,” she said.
“For far too long, NSW has been burdened with ballooning population growth without us being properly consulted on the targets, where people will live and what services and infrastructure growing communities will need.”
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