NSW government advice to new Premier Dominic Perrottet is that Australia needs two million migrants over the next five years.
This was revealed by an Australian newspaper that had accessed a “top-secret, politically sensitive” advice written by top NSW bureaucrats.
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Perrottet confirmed he wanted immigration increased.
“I think that’s important – I’m somebody who believes in a big NSW, I think that provides greater opportunity and prosperity for people right across the state.”
The advice prepared by the Department of Premier and Cabinet as part of an incoming premier’s brief encouraged “an aggressive resumption of immigration levels as a key means of economic recovery and post-pandemic growth.”
The document further stated:
“An ambitious national immigration plan similar to Australia’s post-World War II approach would ensure Australia would benefit from skills, investment and population growth.”
This explosive post-World War II-style immigration is needed to rebuild the economy and address labor shortages as NSW emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peter Shergold, the Chancellor of Western Sydney University, told AFR:
“There is a need to return to higher levels of migration across the board, both in terms of skilled migration and being more generous to people coming in under specialist humanitarian visas and, indeed, international students returning on temporary visas.”
However, speaking to Sky News businessman Dick Smith said it was a “ridiculous” plan.
“No one wants 100 million, it’s an arid country, we’d be crazy to go to that size.”
Simon Kuestenmacher, Co-Founder & Director at The Demographics Group, told 3AW Drive that this intake can work on just one condition.
“Infrastructure growth must keep pace with population growth. And we haven’t done this.”
The NSW government’s advice advocated for a “doubling” of pre-Covid immigration levels for the next five years.
Mr. Perrottet clarified to reporters that the first priority was on bringing home stranded Australians and then international students.
“What’s the next stage after returning Australians? You move to tourism and you move to labour, and immigration will be a key focus.
I want to have those conversations with the federal government as quickly and as early as possible. The earlier we have those discussions the brighter our future will be.”
Net overseas migration reached 240,000 in 2018-19, before falling sharply to around 194,000 in 2019-20.