Managing Australia’s future population

The Morrison Government’s Population Plan to effectively manage Australia’s future population came into effect on 01 July 2019. The Plan directly affects the Australian migration scheme, in particular applicants who are overseas students or temporary residents.

What initiatives are included in this Plan? 

The Population has four (4) main components, in the following:

  1. Easing the population pressures on Australia’s big capitals and supporting the growth of smaller cities and regions;
  2. A massive boost in infrastructure;
  3. A better planning mechanism with states and territories; and
  4. Keeping Australia together by building safe and connected communities

How is the government implementing these initiatives?

First initiative plans include:

  • Cutting the permanent migration program by a cumulative 120,000 places over four years
    • The new cap is 160,000 per annum, and below the current cap of 190,000 places per annum.
    • Within this 160,000 places cap, there are only 23,000 places for permanent residents who chose to reside outside the four big capitals.


  • Introducing strong incentives for new international students
    • New $94 million scholarship program to study in the regional areas will come into effect.
    • Destination Australia program will also provide 4,720 scholarships
    • Students studying outside of the big capitals to receive an extra year of post-study work rights.


  • Changes to the working holiday maker program
    • There will be increase to the number of countries involved and places available, and allowing people who work in the regional areas to stay an extra year.

Second initiative plans include:

  • Operation of National Faster Rail Agency
    • The Agency commenced operating from 01 July 2019, will oversee the government’s 20 years fast rail agenda which will connect satellite regional cities to our big capitals.
    • This will allow people to reside in regional centres with its cheaper housing and regional lifestyle but will still be able to access easily the major employment centres.
    • The first fast rail connection will be Melbourne-Geelong.

Third initiative plans include:

  • Establishing a new Centre for Population
    • This centre is being established inside Treasury from 01 July 2019, providing detailed analysis and advice on population issues.
    • $23.4 million has been allocated to establish this Centre.

Fourth initiatives plans include:

  • Boosting infrastructure expenditure
    • Ensuring population growth does not outstrip infrastructure capacity


  • Connecting communities
    • Encouraging people out of major cities and into regional areas, helping regional communities to fill employment gaps and grow their economies



  • Although, we have yet to see how the above changes will make a significant difference to the migration settings, it will nonetheless support a strong economic growth in Australia.  




  • The changes will also complement the four Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA) which will assist employers in regional areas across NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia to find the labour and skills they need.



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