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Albanese flags immigration system overhaul

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has outlined impending changes to immigration numbers. (Brent Lewin/AAP PHOTOS)

IMMIGRATION will be scaled back to what are considered sustainable levels hand-in-hand with a crackdown on abuses of Australia’s intake of overseas students.

The impending overhaul follows a once-in-a-generation review which determined the nation’s immigration system was “badly broken” and in need of a 10-year rebuild, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.

“What we know, is that we need to have a migration system that enables Australia to get the skills that we need but make sure the system is working in the interests of all Australians,” he told reporters in Sydney on Saturday.

“Well, we are determined to fix this.”

Mr Albanese said there was always going to be a jump in immigration following COVID-19 although current projections were lower than those prior to Australia shutting its borders during the pandemic.

Treasury forecasts also showed the intake is expected to decline substantially over the coming financial year.

However the review, conducted by former Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet head Martin Parkinson, had found concerning abuses of Australia’s acceptance of international students, the prime minister said.

“People are coming here, enrolling in courses that don’t really add substantially to either their skills base or to the national interest here,” he said.

“So, it’s not in the interests of our neighbours, nor is it in the interests of Australia, that there not be a crackdown on this.

“We’re determined to do that.”

While the government already had a blueprint for increased housing and a $120 billion infrastructure rollout, the full details of the immigration overhaul would be unveiled next week,” Mr Albanese said.

Its preliminary announcement comes as an Eritrean-born man was expected on Saturday to appear in court as the sixth former immigration detainee arrested for allegedly failing to comply with a curfew.

The AFP arrested and charged the 36-year-old on Friday night after he was located in inner Melbourne.

It will be alleged the man breached the conditions of his commonwealth visa by failing to observe his residential curfew obligations, with the offence attracting a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $93,900 fine.

The government has been scrambling to respond to a High Court’s decision, which overturned 20 years of legal precedent to rule indefinite custody of detainees unlawful when there was no prospect of resettlement.

Opposition pressure has escalated for it to apologise to Australians over the affair.

However, Mr Albanese said Labor had a legal obligation to respond to the court’s decision and had no interest in risking the consequences of pre-empting such processes.

He said the government had received very clear and explicit advice on the issue but despite making it available to the opposition, it had been ignored.

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3 Responses to Albanese flags immigration system overhaul

cbrapsycho says: 9 December 2023 at 1:08 pm

I really hope this government comes to understand the problems.

We train people in many fields such as hospitality which become flooded with immigrants who accept the terrible behaviour of many employers as they’re still better off financially than if they’d stayed in their home countries. Australian trained chefs will not put up with atrocious work practices and work conditions, so they leave the industry and we end up with a shortage of chefs. We import more people to do the job and the cycle continues.

Hospitality is just one example of an industry that pays poorly and where work conditions have not improved in the last 30 years because of this cycle. We train lots of chefs, but few remain in the industry. The celebrity chefs people see online or on tv are the few rare creatures who do well in an awful industry, because of their other skills, those not essential for chefs but necessary to be a celebrity chef in high demand and thus with good pay and conditions.

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David says: 10 December 2023 at 3:57 am

Yes, so much money to be made in the restaurant business that you are guaranteed a bank loan if you just say you’re opening a restaurant. That’s why we never hear of restaurants closing down as the owners are making huge profits ripping off their workers and they know they don’t have to rely on family members to be staff on weekends. We’re lucky the owners make so much money they’ve been able to absorb the latest costs increases so the cost of going to a restaurant hasn’t gone up. Hang on. I’m talking complete garbage just like the previous comment. It’s hard to pay someone a decent wage if you’re unable to get a return on the investment. Next time you go out and eat a meal that is cooked by a trained chef count have many different ways the recent cost of living pressures have impacted your meal and where you are sitting. You better have some friends with you as you’ll need their fingers and toes. The market for properly trained chefs is dwindling as costs go up and the move towards large food chains where your standard school leaver can be quickly trained to cook the core meals. That’s what trained chefs and their employers are competing against. Not enough people are prepared to pay for the services of trained chefs to keep the number being trained in the industry, especially when you can make more money off the dole. The government stuffed up badly on immigration (and we need to wait for them to find someone else to blame so they will start fixing the problem) buts let’s not accuse them or anyone else of things that aren’t actually their fault.

Also, to the previous comment, if you want to undermine the trained chef restaurant industry and good idea would be to have lots of cooking shows showing and encouraging people to do high end cooking at home. The whole food world is maturing in the same way most businesses no longer have typing pools.

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cbrapsycho says: 11 December 2023 at 10:50 am

David, none of what you say makes my comments invalid. It is hard to make money out of a restaurant and you have to be really good at business to do it well, but none of that makes it ok to treat staff badly as so many do.

There are good employers in hospitality who value their staff and keep them for years. They’re also the really good restaurants.

Sadly so many people start restaurant businesses without doing proper market research, with no idea of how to manage people or how to price their product, let alone how to run a business effectively. These are the problem employers who treat staff badly, often stressed because they don’t know how to do things better.

Customers are willing to pay for high quality meals with good service, which is what you get with good staff and management as is easy to see if you just look around Canberra at the best restaurants. People will not pay high prices where the quality or service is bad and those restaurants will go broke as so many do. Treating staff badly does not encourage them to value their employer or their job, let alone the food or service they produce.

We could do with fewer poor quality businesses and industries, fewer untrained staff and as our PM says, fewer unskilled or low skilled migrants dominating various industries (whether hospitality or building etc), as they produce poor quality products and drive highly skilled people away from those businesses and industries.

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