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Government measures assist regional Australia
The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock, has
announced that a new visa category aimed at attracting business migrants to
settle away from major population growth centres will begin on 1 July 1997.
The new visa category allows permanent residence for people who are in
Australia on a long-stay temporary business visa and who have a successful
record of ownership and management of a business outside the major
"This measure is in line with the Coalition's determination to introduce
measures which will help create jobs and assist small business, especially
in regional Australia," Mr Ruddock said.
"The smaller States have tended to miss out on the benefits of skilled
migration because the settlement pattern of migrants has been heavily
skewed towards Australia's largest metropolitan areas.
"The Government recognised that measures were needed to ensure that the
benefits of skilled migration were felt throughout Australia, not just the
major metropolitan areas.
"To this end, the Commonwealth Government has been working with State and
Territory governments to develop a new Regional Established Business in
Australia (REBA) visa category.
REBA applicants must:
. have owned and operated a business outside NSW and the major
metropolitan areas of Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and south-eastern
Queensland for at least two years;
. have at least a 10 per cent share holding in a business which has an
annual turnover of at least $200,000 or exports of at least $100,000
and is located in a designated regional area;
. have net assets in Australia of $200,000 or more, at least $75,000 of
which must be invested in the business;
. be actively involved in the management of the business; and
. meet the pass mark on a points test which looks at their age, language
ability, number of employees and net assets. Additional points are
available for applicants who have sponsorship from their
"The Government has been working to ensure a more tightly-focussed
Migration Program, with an emphasis on skilled migration, and the new REBA
visa category will have the potential to generate employment, investment
and genuine business commitment to regional Australia."
Steve Ingram, 06 277 7860