Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Albanese Government that Australia’s permanent migration cap will be increased, saying it is a welcome step for businesses currently struggling with crippling labour shortages.

RCA Chair and Mayor of Ballarat Cr Daniel Moloney said “We congratulate the Government on today’s commitment to increase permanent migration, and thank them for listening to the collective voices of regional Australia.”

Today at the Jobs and Skills Summit the Government announced that:

  • Australia’s permanent migration cap will be increased by 35,000 to 195,000 for this financial year;
  • Regional Australia will have access to 34,000 permanent migrants, an increase of 9,000; and
  • Post-study work rights for foreign graduates of Australian universities will also be increased by two years in areas of skills shortages.

Regional Capitals Australia have been advocating for this outcome as part of our push for a national population policy that seeks to attract more people to live and work in our member cities. 

Regional Capitals Australia made the case at the National Skills Summit Regional Roundtable – hosted by Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government the Hon Catherine King MP, that an increase to regional visa streams for skilled work and education visas was key to this task.

Cr Moloney said “With nearly 87,000 job vacancies recorded in July across regional Australia we know that this isn’t a quick fix, and we will continue to work with the government on broader initiatives to meet the skills needs of our regions.”