QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA COULD FAST TRACK VISA FOR SKILLED JOB SEEKERS



Source : http://www.australiaforum.com/general

People willing to work in the regional areas of Queensland rather than the popular area around the state capital of Brisbane and the Gold coast could benefit from fast tracked visas under a new proposal.

The state is currently drawing up a major plan that looks ahead 30 years and part of it aims to attract more immigrants to regional areas that are less populated.

Latest data shows that 75% of all the jobs created in Australia over the year to December 2013 were created in Queensland

About 100,000 overseas immigrants move to Queensland each year but many take jobs in the most populous areas in the south east of the state. Some 65% of Queensland’s population lives in the southeast, including Brisbane and the Gold and Sunshine coasts.

But the plan, currently out for consultation and due to be finalised in the middle of this year, aims to have half the state’s population living outside the southeast by 2043. It also wants to attract more overseas students and suggests that in 30 years’ time some 95% of students in the state will be bilingual.

Townsville, Rockhampton and Cairns have been earmarked for areas of future migrant growth and it is expected that the federal government will commit to invest in more regional infrastructure.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has already discussed several strategies with Immigration Minister Scott Morrison. ‘It could be that if you want to come to Australia, you might be on a certain waiting list. Maybe you could get bumped up the queue if you go and spend at least five years in a regional city in Queensland, a regional town,’ Newman said. He explained that the state government would work with councils to influence where immigrants are most needed.

‘Regional Queensland has been thirsty for this for a generation, it is our opportunity to deliver. There is a world outside of Brisbane,’ said Local Government Minister David Crisafulli.

Politicians believe there will be plenty of job opportunities for immigrants as Queensland has consolidated its place as the nation’s engine room of job creation. The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that 75% of all the jobs created in Australia over the year to December 2013 were created in Queensland.

Some 35,200 jobs were created in Queensland in trend terms over the 12 month period, almost 25,000 of those in the last six months. The state has now seen trend employment increase for 14 out of the last 15 months.

Also, trend unemployment fell 0.1% to 5.7 per cent in December, the second lowest rate of any state behind Western Australia.

The Property Council’s ANZ Confidence Survey shows that the property and construction industry in Queensland is experiencing a surge in confidence and indicating high expectations that it will employ more staff over the coming year.

‘Over the next three decades, we all face a rapidly changing future with significant population growth, a fluctuating global economy and technological advances. The plan will work to navigate these challenges and guide where and how we live, work and interact,’ said Newman.

‘It will describe a future Queensland for us to strive towards. A state that has the best opportunities, the brightest minds, and a prosperous economy. A state that boasts the best natural and built environment in the country and attracts the healthiest, fairest and most active people to its regional communities. In 30 years we aspire to have half of the state’s population living outside South East Queensland,’ he added.  

by Ray Clancy on January 23, 2014 

http://www.australiaforum.com/information/australia/queensland-could-fast-track-visa-for-skilled-job-seekers.html