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Tony Abbott supports the use of migration visas

Tony Abbott supports the use of migration visas

The leader of the opposition has said that he will begin a major push to promote the use of skilled migration visas and employee sponsorship arrangement in recognition of their value to the Australian economy.

Tony Abbott gave an address to the Institute of Public Affairs in Melbourne on April 27, in which he stated that the best step for national immigration programs are that they be made to support new arrivals in a way "that helps Australia to be more prosperous and productive".

Mr Abbott went on to say that the introduction of immigration visas for skilled workers - such as the 457 subclass - should be considered to be an innovations in official federal policy that delivered significant benefits.

The leader of the opposition asserted: "These are the best possible immigrants to Australia. They make a contribution from day one. From day one, they are immersed in the Australian way of life."

He pointed out that international workers helped to deliver a level of economic proficiency that enabled local businesses to pursue new opportunities that they might otherwise have to forgo due to a lack of human capital - and that these ventures added greatly to the "prosperity" enjoye by everyday Australians across the country.

"Provided they are paid the same wages and provided there aren't Australians who could readily fill particular jobs, businesses should be able to bring in the workers they need to keep growing and to create more local jobs," said Mr Abbott.

"A more skills focussed immigration programme should actually make it easier for governments to discharge their perennial duty to plan for the future and to provide the infrastructure needed to sustain a growing economy and a larger population."

While the Department of Immigration and Citizenship is currently gearing up for the deployment of its SkillSelect program, the opposition leader was adamant that more could be done.

He took the opportunity to point out that the nation still needs to get to grips with the coming Asian century under a strong, non-discriminatory system of migration.

Mr Abbott explained: "Properly utilised, immigrants to Australia could be our best business ambassadors to the world’s expanding markets.

"We should have ready-made experts on the economics and cultures of the booming economies to our north among the well-integrated immigrant Australians who grew up there."

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