Lanka sixth in Australia's immigrant intake
Australia's migrant intake is surging towards 200,000 a year, a
quarter of whom head to Victoria.
New Zealanders, Britons and Indians are leading the boom, according
to the latest Immigration Department figures.
Almost 192,000 permanent migrant visas were issued in 2006-07, up 6.7
per cent on 2005-06.
These included more than 51,000 visas given to those already living
here, says the report, Immigration Update 2006-07.
The intake is the biggest since the mass migration of the late 1960s.
Australia arguably now has the world's highest per capita migrant
Traditional rival Canada currently has a lower annual rate than
Australia. Victoria welcomed more than 48,000 migrants last year, most
settling in Melbourne.
About 55 per cent of this intake was Asian-born; fewer than 15 per
cent of arrivals were from Europe.
The top source country by birthplace was India, followed by New
Zealand, China and Britain, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam,
Malaysia, Sudan, and Iraq. Monash University migration expert Dr Bob
Birrell said the influx was staggering, especially given that the
figures didn't include foreigners living here on temporary visas.
Dr Birrell said the nation was experiencing a population "perfect
storm" as high migration coincided with a baby boom.
"This is the legacy that the former Coalition Government has
bequeathed to Labor," he said.
Dr Birrell said that while Sydney was still attracting more migrants
than Melbourne, Victoria's capital was growing faster because far fewer
people were leaving it to settle in other parts of Australia.
"Sydney has serious congestion problems and a high cost of doing
business, which is slowing jobs growth," he said.
Of 48,861 migrant visas issued in Victoria last year, just over half
were in the skilled category.
More than 10,000 visas went to spouses or fiancees of residents.
About 3600 people arriving in Victoria won visas under the humanitarian
program. Herald Sun