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Regional Queensland benefits from skilled migrants.



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Philip Ruddock MP MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND MULTICULTURAL AND INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS

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Regional Queensland Benefits from Skilled Migrants MPS 69d/2002 Queensland continued to attract skilled migrants under State/Territory specific and regional migration initiatives in 2001-02, the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Philip Ruddock, announced today.

Mr Ruddock said there was a significant increase in the number of skilled migrants sponsored by regional employers.

"In 2001-02 there was a total of 272 visas granted to migrants and their families coming to Queensland under the regional initiatives, compared with 255 in 2000-01," Mr Ruddock said.

"The initiatives were developed in close consultation with State/Territory governments to assist them to address skill shortages in regional areas and to influence the distribution of skilled migrants to their jurisdiction."

The initiatives allow regional and State/Territory authorities as well as employers to attract skilled and business migrants to specific areas.

Mr Ruddock said more than 60 percent of grants for Queensland were under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS).

Grants under this category were the highest since the category was introduced.

In this category, the migrant is sponsored by an employer who cannot fill the position from the local labour market.

Examples of persons visaed under RSMS include radiographers, pharmacists, medical practitioners and veterinarians to rural communities such as Emerald, Mackay, Sarina and Toowoomba.

There have also been positions filled for specialised chefs at resorts, mining specialists in some remote western regions and specialist teachers in Cairns and the Whitsundays.

The Skill Matching Database (SMD) is available to regional employers to identify people with the relevant skills required.

The SMD allows migrant applicants overseas to have their personal details, including occupation and qualifications, to be listed on an electronic register.

The SMD can be accessed via the Internet by employers and by State/Territory Governments looking for skilled migrants.

Families also played an important role in sponsoring skilled relatives to regional areas with 35 percent of visa grants relying on a sponsor in regional Queensland.

Australian citizens and permanent residents outside Brisbane can sponsor their relatives as distant as first cousins.

Applicants are only required to meet threshold criteria of age, skill and English proficiency. They do not need to meet the general skills points test pass mark.

"I will shortly be meeting with Premier Peter Beattie to discuss ways in which we can jointly build on the number of skilled and business migrants settling in regional Queensland", Mr Ruddock said.

24 July 2002

Table 1: Queensland - Visa Grants By Category Under State Specific Migration Mechanisms: 1997-98 to 2001-02

Category 1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02

RSMS 111 71 60 97 165

STNI 0 0 0 0 0

Regional Linked & SDAS 28 8 15 42 68

SAL* 152 199 185 94 28

SSBS** 3 2 5 21 10

REBA 0 0 0 1 1

Total 294 280 265 255 272

* Refers to applicants under this category who obtained bonus points because their sponsor lived in a designated area. ** Includes applications processed under offshore subclass 129 (State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner) and offshore subclass 130 (State/Territory Sponsored Senior Executive); onshore subclass 842 (State Territory Sponsored Business Owner) and onshore subclass 843 (State Territory Sponsored Senior Executive).

Acronyms

RSMS - Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme STNI - State/Territory Nominated Independent Scheme Regional Linked & SDAS - Regional Linked and Skilled - Designated Area Sponsored Category SAL - Skilled Australian Linked Category SSBS - State Sponsored Business Skills REBA - Regional Established Business in Australia Category

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URL: http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media_releases/media02/r02069d.htm Last update: 24 July 2002 at 10:38 AEST