Migration gets rural push

Migration gets rural push

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Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce queries definition of regional areas.

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BARNABY Joyce has welcomed the government's policy to encourage rural migration, however took issue with Perth, Adelaide and the Gold Coast being classified as regional locations.

The federal government has set aside 25,000 places within its migration cap for regional Australia, and will give those choosing to live in a rural area a number of benefits, such as priority processing.

However, all major cities outside of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will have access to the regional benefits.

"I don't believe that Perth, Adelaide and the Gold Coast are regional areas," Mr Joyce said.

Despite the concern over the classification of a regional centre, Mr Joyce applauded the move and said it would be extremely beneficial to his electorate once the drought breaks.

Read more: Making migration work for regional areas

"I get people saying all the time 'I need more people and I can't get them'," the New England MP said.

"I think it will become even more apparent after the drought ends. Some areas will be bereft of tradespeople.

"When the drought ends, things like tyre fitters out in the western towns, they just won't be there.

"Diesel mechanics and all these things that are crucial parts of large-scale farming, that are not skill sets that can be done on the farm, they have to be done in town - and those people won't be there unless we bring them in."

Mr Joyce said more skilled migrants coming to regional areas was a "win-win situation, that solves a problem for everyone".

"The best place for people to assimilate into our culture is in a regional city," Mr Joyce said.

"Think of all the communities we have here in Tamworth - the Indian community, the Filipino community, the African community - they're all good citizens.

"If you get a person with a trade coming here, they're coming here to work, they're coming here because they want a job. They're not landing here on the say so."

The new policy will come into effect on November 16.

The story Migration gets rural push first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.

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