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Scott Morrison on Australia's immigration program

Scott Morrison on Australia's immigration program

On Monday (October 21), Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison addressed registered migration agents at a conference in Canberra.

During his presentation, Mr Morrison touched on a number of important issues that will be of some interest to migration agents in Australia.

He started off by saying the government is "quite focused at the moment" on Operation Sovereign Borders - a policy designed to stop people smuggling and protect Australia's shores.

However, Mr Morrison was adamant the policy will not diminish the delivery of visa services and "the working horse nature of the immigration department".

He said the immigration portfolio is large and complex, so he and Michaelia Cash, Assistant Minister for Immigration, will both be actings as Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, to a certain extent.

"You may actually see a lot more of Senator Cash when it comes to these issues, particularly when you're sitting down and working through some of the technical issues within your responsibilities, and for your clients and so on," said Mr Morrison.

He went on to say the immigration program cannot be successful "without the strong support of the Australian people".

While many have questioned the number of migrants coming to the country over the past few years, Mr Morrison explained that "those who had come had the skills to find employment".

Australia's success as a multi-ethnic nation, he said, "is based fundamentally on our commitment to the economic participation of migrants at all levels".

The government plans to attract migrants who will "add value" to the country. Mr Morrison stated that the purpose of Australia's immigration program is, and always has been, economic rather than social.

He said the majority of migrants - about 68 per cent - enter the country under the Permanent Skilled Program, and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection would like to keep it this way.

Mr Morrison stressed that it is important for businesses in Australia with a "genuine need" for skilled workers to be able to sponsor them from overseas.

After all, he explained, a business that has to close its doors because it is unable to find the skilled workers it needs hires no one.

The government will continue to fine-tune the immigration program, but Mr Morrison was very clear that its supports skilled migration in Australia.

"If you run your immigration programme properly then immigration creates jobs. That is our history, that is our experience and that is our future," he said.

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