Group calls for migration roadmap

By Gerv Tacadena | 22 Sep 2020

The Property Council of Australia is calling for the federal government to address the migration concerns arising from the international border closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ken Morrison, chief executive at the Property Council, said the government needs to acknowledge the impact of migration on Australia's population growth and housing demand.

Citing a study by the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), Morrison said international border closures have effectively shut down net overseas migration, which typically accounts for 59% of the population growth since 2007.

Morrison said a sustained decline in housing demand would put further pressure on residential construction and compound the economic downturn.

“The NHFIC report paints the scenario we can’t allow to happen. Because if we do, it will mean many tens of thousands more Australians losing their jobs,” he said.

Also read: Four Likely Impacts Of Population Slowdown

The NHFIC report said for every $1m spent on residential construction, nine jobs are created and supported. Overall, around 134,000 people are directly employed in the residential construction industry.

Furthermore, the industry contributes 5% to the gross domestic product.

Morrison said this makes it vital for the federal government to address the issues on housing demand.

“A roadmap for restarting our migration program should be a top priority for national cabinet," he said.

"It will need to be done safely, sensibly and in stages with public health always at the forefront — but we cannot avoid the inescapable and profound economic impact of keeping our international borders closed to migration."

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