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Found 39 results

  1. Hi everyone, Not sure if this has been posted elsewhere on PIO (had a search but couldn't find it!) but I found this article on the bbc website today: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15970341 I think it may be the article produced as part of the interview mentioned of this thread but I maybe wrong: http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/moving-back-uk/131098-bbc-interview-returning-uk.html Anyway I thought it was an interesting read giving opinions of those that have returned from Oz and those that have stayed. Hev x
  2. Bpremji

    BBC Article...

    An interesting read: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15799571
  3. Guest

    Interesting article

    This webpage is quite interesting. Not sure how that will affect chances of finding work etc. Published in australia. http://au.smallbusiness.yahoo.com/article/-/10420408/most-australian-workers-in-recession/
  4. Guest

    Aboriginal Article.

    I realise the discussion involving Aboriginals can at times become somewhat heated both on here and the media generally, but have a look at the link below. Without me saying anymore it does in my opinion say a lot about Australia and what 'place' the indigenous people have within that country.:idea::yes: This is NOT a black versus white thread, just a link that 'seems' to be informed and educated, and shows that the 'original' inhabitants of Australia are amongst the oldest and history clad peoples EVER. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15020799 Cheers Tony.:wink:
  5. http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/reccie-arrival-reports/125181-wdu-sort-reccie-perth.html
  6. Why Britain's brightest and best are emigrating 12:01AM GMT 21 Feb 2008 112 Comments We already knew, courtesy of the Office for National Statistics, that emigration from this country is running at higher levels than at any time since before the First World War, with 200,000 British citizens a year departing these shores. <LI sizcache="34" sizset="31">Biggest brain drain from UK in 50 years Your view: How can we halt the brain drain? We now learn from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that we lead the world in exporting talent, with a higher proportion of highly skilled professionals emigrating from this country than from any other (except Mexico). The OECD estimates that 1.1 million highly skilled Britons - more than one in ten of the total - are now living overseas. That 1960s phenomenon, the Brain Drain, is back. Should we worry? The urge to wander the globe has been in the DNA of the British for centuries; it produced an empire and gave the world a universal language. Pushed by poverty or oppression at home and pulled by the lure of fortunes to be made overseas, we have proved a footloose nation. But the current burst of wanderlust is motivated by something rather different. We are the world's sixth biggest economy - few places offer better financial prospects for the talented and industrious. So why the exodus? Scratch an expat in any of the 100-plus countries that have sizeable British communities and you will rapidly find out. They will cite the coarsening of British society, the rudeness and the aggression on our unsafe streets, the dead hand of welfarism, hospitals that make you sick, not better - the list is long. One thing will be mentioned more than any other: that unchecked immigration over the past decade is creating a country many Britons no longer feel comfortable in. The Government, stung by the backlash against this in its own electoral backyard, yesterday published a Green Paper on citizenship. It is no more than window dressing, an attempt to show it is "doing something" about immigration when it has proved incapable of delivering the one thing that would actually have an impact - a strict curb on the inflow of immigrants. While economic immigration is healthy, what the OECD figures reveal, when set alongside the half a million foreigners coming here each year (nearly four million new arrivals since 1997) is a "churn" effect that is fundamentally transforming the make-up of our society. The highly skilled are being replaced by incomers who may be hard-working, may have trades - but are not as qualified. This has serious long-term implications, social as well as economic. Regrettably, the Government has so far shown it has not even started to grasp the significance of all this, let alone framed a serious response
  7. Just been reading the editorials and this one is interesting. Guess it says what lots have thought for a long while. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2025034/UK-riots-2011-Thugs-gangs--nasty-little-secret-exposed-last.html
  8. Just having my daily fix of breaking headlines down under and in the top 5 stories I found this: From: NewsComAu April 05, 2011 STRICT English tests will make it almost impossible for migrant tradesmen to enter the country, according to employers. Alternatively, you can copy and paste this link into your browser: We need foreign tradies, say employers | News.com.au Interesting times ahead... I think I may have summed up how many of us may feel about the pending cut off date and the crazy 1st July changes.... Time flys The years fly by The months go so fast* Marking off the weeks one by one But the hours of waiting painfully go on With every tick and every tock Time appears to stand still* For us on the immigration clock There's a deadline in place of the first of July Many of us will have tears in our eyes* We are involved in the race against time Holding out desperately for *news* But all we have are the spring time blues Tick tock, goes the immigration clock Its a process that takes it's time Takes days, weeks, months and many a year have gone by
  9. Man admits to falsifying exam results - The West Australian This is an interesting read ! I wonder how many people would be in CAT 4 if everyone was honest ? Shane:policeman:
  10. Guest

    Funny Article

    An ode to the end of Aussie macho | The Daily Telegraph
  11. from Fairfax newspaper, it attracts comments as startling as the original article!: Asylum Seekers Die Off Christmas Island By Chris Berg The decisions of the Refugee Review Tribunal make disheartening reading. It hears appeals from individuals who have had their application for a protection visa refused. For instance: the Fijian man who applied for protection because "my educational outlook and possible employment opportunities may not allow me to reach my fullest potential". Not really persecution, so he was refused a protection visa and refused entry into Australia to find work. Advertisement: Story continues below Or the Lebanese resident who claimed to be pursued by the terrorist group Fatah al-Islam, but applied for a protection visa because he lost his job and needed work. He was refused, too. Or the Indonesian woman seeking protection "due to economic hardship as it was impossible to make a living and support her young child". Also refused. The tribunal's decisions are no doubt correct in law. Applicants often have inconsistent stories, leading the tribunal to question their truthfulness. Others simply do not fit the legal criteria for humanitarian entry. They do not have a "well-founded fear of being persecuted". But is Australia really better off having refused these individuals a visa? Certainly the applicants are not. They would not have qualified for one of our numerous skilled migration programs. For many trying to get into Australia, claims of political or religious persecution are just pretexts: the real reason they want humanitarian visas is to seek employment and to participate in Australia's high standard of living. Advocates of strong border protection have dismissed these types of visa-seekers as "economic" refugees. And with asylum numbers booming, refugees fleeing poverty rather than persecution are clogging up the processing of humanitarian entrants. Here is one way to fix that. The government could introduce a visa category for economic refugees. After all, fleeing unemployment and destitution is just as justifiable as fleeing political persecution. Whatever moral obligation we have to accept political refugees applies just as easily to economic ones. Few of the usual arguments against migration apply to economic refugees. For example, they need not be a drain on taxpayers. Sure, humanitarian entrants immediately qualify for a wide range of government programs. They get caseworkers, language lessons and subsidised counselling. They receive settlement grants, crisis payments and Centrelink benefits and advances. Yet a program for economic refugees needn't be so generous. If migrants flee to Australia to seek employment, it is reasonable to insist they find employment. Or, at the very least, refuse to support them if they do not. Migrants who come to Australia looking for work seek to contribute more than they take. Those three people rejected by the Refugee Review Tribunal were eager find employment. And, presumably, they were eager to spend. They could have contributed to our economy, society and culture. There is an enormous need in agricultural industries for workers - an unskilled demand not being supplied by Australians - and significant demand in Australia's north-west, where a lack of unskilled labour has inflated wages to an exaggerated degree. Low-skilled labour (with its low wages) could fill a substantial gap in the urban labour market for nannies, live-in carers and house cleaners. Bosses such as Rio Tinto's Sam Walsh and Leighton Holdings' Wal King have made it clear heavy red tape for sponsored employment visas are restraining their ability to bring in migrant workers. The Australian National University's Professor Peter McDonald argued last week foreign contract employees are needed to build vital infrastructure. Economic refugees would be ideal candidates. If that demand doesn't exist, then economic refugees will not be interested in coming here in the first place. Of course, migrant labour should not be used as an excuse to ignore policy problems in our higher education and training sectors. But we have a strong economy and businesses looking for labour. We also must remember that migrants tend to be more entrepreneurial than everybody else - economic refugees make their own opportunities for work. So to be rejecting possible participants in our economy at the same time we are crying out for them is inexplicable. And it should not need to be said, but allowing people to seek work and opportunity in Australia is a moral and humane imperative. The tragedy on Christmas Island should remind us of how desperate some are to find a better life here. Allowing economic migrants into Australia also helps the developing world. The money migrants send back to their home countries is the unsung engine of globalisation. According to one survey, 96 per cent of migrants from the Horn of Africa remitted part of their earnings back to family and friends at home. In 2006 (the last good estimate we have), migrants in Australia remitted $2.8 billion to the developing world. It is more than we spent on foreign aid that year: $2.1 billion. Globally, the amount transferred in remittances is larger than that spent on aid. This money goes straight to families, rather than being filtered through aid agencies or corrupt governments. So when three people are refused residency in Australia because they don't have a well-founded fear of persecution, most people's gut reaction might be that the legal system is working as it should. But every economic refugee - every potential worker and consumer - we exclude makes Australia ever so slightly poorer.
  12. Interesting article clarifiying how population is defined: "A few facts would be useful in the migration debate. IF WE'RE going to have great debate about whether we want a Big Australia, people will need a much stronger grasp on the factors driving population growth and immigration than they've shown so far. This is the rationale for a useful booklet, Population and Immigration: Understanding the Numbers, issued by the Productivity Commission this week.... ..... But the government has recently more than halved its list of skilled occupations in short supply and tightened up on the overseas student category. Combine this with the high dollar and the troubles of Indian students in Melbourne and it seems likely the number of overseas students will now fall quite heavily. It's a safe bet net migration won't grow nearly as fast in the next few years.
  13. A Referendum on "Big Australia" Just saw this in my news feed. Some of the main points covered includes - Reducing population growth will reduce average economic growth rate. - The need for skilled migration. - Ms. Gillard's stand on immigration (or the lack of)
  14. Guest

    Found My Old Article!

    Going through my old files and found an article I wrote on Australia Emmigration below. Ha ha, has much changed?! Have pasted it below in case anyone is interested! Final call for flight BA266 to Sydney, please board immediately at gate 22. The smell of the fuel from the Aeroplanes is overwhelming and the clanking of coffee cups makes your heart pound faster. Holding back tears, you swallow hard. Taking one last look at your family and friends, you see tears stinging their eyes. Taking a deep breath you look at the aeroplane, and at your new life waiting for you to embark. Dreams of golden beaches, marine rich coral reefs and tropical rainforests sweep into your mind. You smile nervously. Turning around, you head towards the gate, leaving your life behind, dreaming of the new one that you seek. You do not look back. 361,000 Britons emigrate each yea - an increase of 100,000 in the last seven years. 2004 alone saw a record of the outflow of British citizens with 120,000 more people leaving the UK than people migrating here. It is predicted that by 2020 that an additional six million of us will be living abroad. As statistics show, an incredible 55% of Britons have seriously considered living in another country, naively searching for the ideal lifestyle. Once you step off that plane, the dream can be shattered as the reality of emigrating begins to dawn. Hundreds of people return home each year after the financial and emotional strain of living in another country becomes too much. "Emigration is based on fantasy. Britons have a misconception that you will be happier living in the sun", says Justine Dalrymple, who emigrated from Australia to Britain with her family in 1999. Her family moved back in 2002 as they could not cope with the financial costs of living in London, but Justine, still searching for the excitement of living abroad, decided to stay. Now aged just 21, she has finally decided that the dream is over and its time to go home. "As I got older, I realised my responsibilities and wanted to achieve my long term goals". With her faint Australian accent slowly fading she now considers herself half British. You can see the longing in her eyes as she speaks of her native country. "I miss my family and I miss my friends. Australia has a better environment and quality of life, at the end of the day it is my home". Like the average 21 year old, she has dreams that can not be fulfilled in Britain because of the costs, like owning her own property and starting up a business. "Australia has more opportunities for young people". This does not mean she will not miss London. Smiling, she sweeps her golden hair back. "Britain has given me a world of experience, I will miss the free healthcare," she says, laughing. Many Britons will be following Justine. 15,000 of us permanently move to Australia each year. What we do not realise is the financial costs involved with moving aboard; you have to take your financial baggage with you as well as arranging visas, tax, pensions and money transfers. As HSBC say, “young people do not think about their pension entitlements before they leave but they need to arrange it; if they don’t, they miss out on the state pension, or pension entitlements in the country they are living in.” Health care costs also need to be considered, as you may have to take out private insurance. Selling your house could be problematic, if things do not work out then it will be increasingly difficult to get back onto the property ladder. But renting out your property means you have to pay UK tax. HSBC say the first thing that needs to be done is to sort out immediate financial needs and open a bank account in the country before you leave, that way you avoid delays and access to your funds. HSBC also gives advice and tips online with moving abroad as well as providing country guides. It is not just financial strain with emigrating but the emotional side. Moving abroad is a big step to take, even for the most confident and knowledgeable people you have to be able to cope in a different country and adapt to a different culture. You can feel isolated and will miss family and friends. Despite the pitfalls, four out of ten of us share the dream of living abroad with the opportunities of a better climate, environment, pace of life and lower living costs. London is the most expensive city in Europe, and British workers only get eight public holidays a year compared to the fourteen received in other countries. Australia is the favourite destination for young professionals seeking a new life with sunshine and beaches. The UN has listed it the third best place to live in the world as it is one of the best places for immigrants to adapt and to be accepted. Alex Gibson aged 24, is a stockbroker in London and shares the dream of a better working environment; he is one of the 70% of people under 25 considering moving aboard. Alex like most young professionals is tired after a hard day's work in London. Sipping his beer, Alex retells his experience of his gap year spent in Australia, "It was the best year of my life, I felt like I had found myself out there". Now happily living with his Australian girlfriend who was the deciding point for the move, he explains why people want to live in Australia, "it has the weather, the low population, cheap house prices and the lifestyle, it offers a lot more than Britain". Alex does own his own property and will probably sell, depending on the market at the time of his move. He naively does not believe that things could go wrong. "It's about thinking positively, I know things will turn out great". Alex says he has plenty of savings for the financial costs involved. "It's not like I've just based my move on one good holiday as most Brits do. I worked and lived in Australia, I now how to adapt to the environment". Australia is a great country to live in; it has one of the best education systems. 70% of pupils go to a public school. It has not suffered the financial cutbacks that we have in the UK, and therefore it provides first class academic study, making it a great place to bring up children. It has a better environment and healthy living ethic. There is wonderful sunshine and you don't need to pack an umbrella as it barely rains. Their government is more liberal; overall, you live a better lifestyle in Australia. However, it does have its drawbacks. Crime in Australia is considerably higher than expected, especially compared to the UK and US. Its crime rates are as high as South Africa but this is not murder crimes. It is home to the deadliest snakes and spiders in the world and it's far away from everything else, making it isolated and lonely. If this does not deter you from living there, you still have to meet certain requirements to be eligible for a visa. Unless you are skilled, young, professionally qualified and able to invest money into the government, it is difficult to live there. Australia is one of the hardest places to migrate to. Not all Britons consider the reality of emigrating before they go, like all dreams, they see it as perfect and obtainable. Moving abroad may be a life changing experience and one of the best things you could ever do but it needs to be realised that it is not always the case. The British media are partly to blame for the misconception. TV programmes such as 'A Place in the Sun', which was first screened on Channel 4 in 2000; gave the perception that living abroad is easy. The programme is superficial as it does not show the realities involved. The popularity of the programme saw rise to 15 other similar programmes. This is hundreds of screen time dedicated to the perfect life abroad, an average of two hours and forty five minutes a week. These programmes have had effect in the rise of property owners abroad. In 2005, UK residents owned 256,609 properties abroad approximately worth 23 billion pounds; this was double than in 2000, when it was worth 11 billion. Spain is one of the most popular destinations that Britons move to, with an estimated half a million calling it home. In 9 out of the 15 coastal areas of Spain, foreigners, mainly British, outnumber the Spanish. France is also another area, estimated to have 350,000 British owned homes. However, there was one British programme screened on BBC2, called the 'living the dream', that screened real families and people either being successful at the emigration or failing. It showed families being misled by local builders and becoming bankrupt. It also highlighted facts such as the 95% failure rate of British owned bars in Benidorm. The above is due to not just TV programmes but also the rise of leisure travel of the past thirty years; we are able to experience more of a destination and can see ourselves making a permanent move. The emergence of low cost airlines such as Easy Jet and Ryanair have helped in the decision to move abroad as it is cheaper and accessible to be able to go home, and the same for visits from friends and family. The rise in emigration figures can also be because countries are offering excellent lifestyle packages for skilled and professional migrants. Australia is one; desperate for skilled workers they are offering the opportunities of shorter working hours, a lower cost of living and a better climate. They have recently increased their skilled migrant visa from 20,000 places to 87,000 a year. This is because one million Australian skilled workers have left to work overseas. 38% of Britons are migrating to Australia because of the attractive packages. Josh Pritchard, 22, has just completed his plumbing apprenticeship and plans to immigrate to Australia on the skilled migrant visa. As the rain beats down, Josh is still in his dirty work clothes; he looks worn out, but immediately perks up when asked about Australia. "It will be an excellent working environment, all year sunshine and being a part of excellent community spirit". Josh has previously spent three months travelling around Australia, and says it will be no problem adapting to the lifestyle. "The lower living costs will help me start up my own business". He feels that Australia will provide him with the life changing experience he's been looking for since he went travelling in 2003, and if things don't turn out? "It's only a plane ride away". What happened to the good life in Britain? Why are we so desperate to leave? Everyday the British press report stories on the failure of the NHS, the scandals of our politicians, our collapsing educational standards and our inaccuracies in public transport, never mind our unpredictable weather. But Britain does have the fourth largest economy in the world and a history that we should be proud of. The sad truth is that 79% of us only stay here because of our friends and family, oh, and because we can rely on the NHS in emergencies. I say we should gather all our friends and family and take them with us, don't know about you, but I'm off to pack my suitcase. Shreen El Masry
  15. Hi everyone The link below is to an article that might be of interest, from Australian Policy Online, about the Migration Amendment (Visa Capping) Bill 2010. It's written by Peter Mares - one of the few journalists who I believe reports on migration issues with a balanced perspective. http://www.apo.org.au/commentary/capping-and-culling-queue Best wishes Susan
  16. Not sure what to make of this, but interesting none-the-less 'Wrong' workers given skilled migrant priority | Adelaide Now
  17. From Money Morning 9/3/2010 The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) reported this morning that in February, the number of homes coming onto the market outstripped the number of new buyer enquiries for the second month in a row. This represents the “first sustained shift towards supply for two years”, said Rics. Meanwhile, a net balance of 17% of agents said prices had risen over the past three months. That's a lot lower than the 31% who reported rises in January. And sales per agent fell by nearly 5%, to 17.6 in February. Before the crunch, the number of sales averaged 25. www.moneyweek.co.uk
  18. http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article17611.html Best regards.
  19. Queensland to draw up migration plan to curb population | The Courier-Mail Just found the above article in today's Brisbane Courier Mail thought fellow Qld peeps may be interested. debsx
  20. there is an article on page three in todays 8 th of feb SMH regarding changes to migration criteria i couldnt do the link so you will have to google it doesnt look good
  21. The Pom Queen

    Can you help with magazine article?

    Hi Guys I am looking for some volunteers who would like to feature in the Australia and New Zealand Magazine and tell them about your move to Australia, if you are interested in having your story published along with photos, please can you pm me for more details. Thanks Kate
  22. Had to share this with PIO, so funny!! :biglaugh: Taken from Dangerous animals keep tourists in Australia on their toes | The Courier-Mail By Rory Gibson January 14, 2010 11:00pm THE mad bat of the Town of 1770 was the tipping point. Until then I had been successful in reassuring my brother-in-law that he would not be sent back to England's green and pleasant land in a coffin, the victim of an unfortunate encounter with Australia's wildlife. A lot of foreigners think Australia is a deadly place because of a perception that every living thing here has the capability of inflicting upon the unwary an agonising and messy death. Sure, that may be true of Brunswick St at 3am but, by comparison to other continents, our wildlife is pretty tame. But that's not the general wisdom. Popular travel writer Bill Bryson summed up why visitors from overseas think that their first steps outside the international terminal could be their last in his book Down Under: "It has more things that will kill you than anywhere else. Of the world's 10 most poisonous snakes, all are Australian. Five of its creatures – the funnel-web spider, box jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus, paralysis tick and stonefish – are the most lethal of their type in the world. "This is a country where even the fluffiest of caterpillars can lay you out with a toxic nip; where seashells will not just sting you but actually sometimes go for you. Pick up an innocuous cone shell from a Queensland beach, as innocent tourists are all too wont to do, and you will discover that the little fellow inside is not just astoundingly swift and testy, but exceedingly venomous. "If you are not stung or pronged to death in some unexpected manner, you may be fatally chomped by sharks or crocodiles, or carried helplessly out to sea by irresistible currents, or left to stagger to an unhappy death in the baking Outback. It's a tough place." All right Bill, all right. Don't go on about it. The English don't have much wildlife – a few badgers, the odd rabbit – so they are fascinated by ours. Except when it is within cooee of them. My Pommy in-laws have just been visiting for three weeks over Christmas/New Year, and for two of those weeks we were ensconced in a house adjacent to a national park and near the beach in northern New South Wales. The first sign of nerves emerged when a local woman told Scotty, a big, boofy rugby player from the Home Counties, that the kangaroos feeding on our back lawn had been known to become aggressive, and to keep an eye on his two-year-old and four-year-old when they were around. There were some big, muscular male eastern greys among them and they would have done some serious damage to a kid if they got antsy, so that was the end of the morning walks with the toddlers to see the roos feeding. We bought Scotty a three-day learn-to-surf course for his Christmas present and afterwards he would join his Aussie nephews for a dawn surf at what is a reasonably isolated beach. Certainly there are no lifeguards and you can't see any buildings. He was very interested in sharks (out of self-preservation, not scientific curiosity), so we told him all the available lore we knew – early morning and late afternoon most dangerous times to be in water, don't surf alone, stay clear of river mouths, avoid murky water, etc – but assured him shark attacks were very rare. Except that that week a shark attacked a diver on the Barrier Reef, mauling his hand and forearm. "It was just an inquiry nip," the diver, John Pengelly, blithely declared. Quite right John, nothing to worry about except that it put the fear into our Englishman. A couple of days later a fisherman caught a large bull shark in little more than a gutter 15km upstream from Noosa, and it was all over the news. The next morning we had the beach to ourselves, it was drizzling, overcast, a bit foggy. Perfect shark attack conditions. "Why are we the only ones here?" a worried Scotty asked, lying on his board with his legs in the air. "Just lucky, I reckon," I replied. I much prefer shark rage to surf rage. As scared as he was of sharks, he was terrified of spiders, a real arachnophobe. So, as if on script one morning a large redback crawled out of my wetsuit as I was about to put it on. It must have sought shelter there from the incessant rain while it was hanging on the line. Scotty's eyes made him look like ET as he took in the black body with the blood-red slash on its bum. "What will we do with it? Kill it?"' he inquired as I looked around the carpark. He was horrified when I found what I was looking for – a car with NSW number plates – and put the spider on it. I had to explain about State of Origin. You wouldn't believe it, but on the front page of the next day's Clarence Valley Daily Examiner was a photo of a small but venomous snake that had been killed by a redback after it was caught in its web. Scotty, by this time fearful about leaving his room, had also had to come to terms with what a box jellyfish was and the fact that one had nearly killed a young girl 20km from the sea in a central Queensland river. It took a lot to convince him that they didn't travel as far south as Yamba. The several drownings that made the news over this period, while obviously tragic, were almost reassuring in that the victims did not die by fang or claw. But it was the mad bat of the Town of 1770 that bit three people in unrelated attacks, and the description of it crawling down a tree branch with its glittering eyes fixed on its victims, that convinced Scotty that Australia was indeed a hellhole. Back in Brisbane, having a drink on the veranda, we watched the wonderful sight of the fruit bat colony at Enoggera take off for the evening feed, flying in their thousands over our house. The look on Scotty's face was priceless, his mind clearly mulling over the possibility that one of them would swoop for his jugular. He and his family left soon after, sprinting for the plane with what I believe was uncalled-for haste. I hope they don't go spreading any misconceptions about our wildlife.
  23. Craig Johnstone and Natalie Gregg December 06, 2009 11:00pm MOST Queenslanders want the Bligh Government to cap southeast Queensland's rampant population growth. Results from an exclusive Galaxy poll for The Courier-Mail suggest that 60 per cent of Queenslanders want the Government to take steps to limit the region's population growth explosion. A similar proportion say forecasts of six million southeast Queenslanders by 2050 would be too many. <LI class=vote>Vote: Should southeast Queensland have a population cap? Liveability crisis: Our state being loved to death As the Government prepares to beef up its population policy credentials, some mayors are protesting that growth is too far ahead of the transport system's ability to cope. Allan Sutherland, the Mayor of the Moreton Bay region, which is expected to absorb an extra 84,000 new homes over the next 20 years, said infrastructure was needed to accommodate growth. "You can't just keep jamming terracotta roofs all over the place and not improve your transport system," he said. The poll found that 59 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of the Government working to limit the region's population growth. Thirty-five per cent were opposed. The result was even more emphatic among Labor supporters, with 65 per cent in favour of population limits. The poll also found that 59 per cent of Queenslanders thought the forecast population of 6 million for southeast Queensland by the middle of the century was too much, with 33 per cent saying it was about right. Concern over the region's growth has rekindled debate on a population cap for southeast Queensland, despite Premier Anna Bligh and property industry groups dismissing the idea. Population growth will be a key issue at today's Council of Australian Government meeting and Ms Bligh yesterday announced the involvement of scientist Tim Flannery, demographer Bernard Salt and environmentalist Ian Lowe at next year's South-East Queensland Growth Summit on March 30 and 31. Ms Bligh said southeast Queensland had more interstate migrants than any other state. But she said she was yet to see "any sensible or legal way" to cap the population. "As attractive as a population cap sounds, I think it's misleading to imply to people that such a thing could be done," she said. The Wells family, who exchanged Yorkshire in the UK for Springfield Lakes, west of Brisbane, are part of the influx that has made southeast Queensland the fastest growing region in the country. "We came here on holiday in 2002 and said we'll be back – we just loved it," Claire Wells said yesterday. Mrs Wells said she and husband Shane had poured over pages on the internet devoted to Springfield Lakes and had liked what they'd seen. "We were even more impressed when we saw it in reality," she said. The prospect of further growth didn't bother Ms Wells so long as the needs of residents were met. "There's room for everybody and with growth comes new opportunities," she said. However, southeast Queensland head of the Sustainable Population Australia lobby group Simon Baltais said there must be a limit. "Pro-growth lobbyists are ignoring the science . . . at the expense of the general community and the environment," he said.
  24. Rules skew student choice 21 Oct 2009 The submissions from universities to the Bradley review presented a self-serving view of education. Their submissions painted the education and immigration nexus as though it were some insidious evil, but they love the fees students generate for their institutions. The submissions to the review seem to have the objective of diverting students from the vocational education stream to the higher education stream but seem to have little to do with the needs of the nation. Australia went through a recent period when the social worth of a skilled tradesman was considered less than the worth of a university graduate. That was a retrograde period in our society and we now find our school-leavers disinclined to take a trades program, believing it is somehow better to attend a university. This has created a deficiency in the skills base of this country. The study-immigration route is a reasonable way for Australia to manage its immigration program and address the future skills needed by this country. We need a growing, educated, young and skilled workforce. The vocational education route is a smart way to produce a young and ambitious workforce. We have a skilled occupation list, nominating occupations that are acceptable for migration to Australia. It may be imperfect but it does direct attention to the needs of the country. The problem for vocational education is selecting the course or program of study that will deliver students and graduates into the appropriate occupation. The higher education sector points to the concentration of vocational education students in cooking and hairdressing programs. Let the universities examine the concentration of students in their accounting and information technology programs. The concentrations come from identical causes. I propose this simple test for those who criticise the bias in the courses studied in the vocational education scheme. Let the critics select a course of study that leads to an occupation on the skilled occupation list. That sounds pretty simple. Seek advice from the government authority established to assess the skills of graduates from the vocational education sector, Trades Recognition Australia. Simply ask that body what the TRA test or procedure is for assessing a course of study as suitable for a particular skilled occupation. Experience has shown that TRA simply does not know what its tests are. It has told me to me ask theTAFE sector; that is a clear evasion of its responsibility. TRA is expected to perform the skills assessment; it cannot delegate that to the TAFE colleges. Try to figure out the relevant competency package requirements for a favourable skills assessment. Visit the National Training Information Service website. It is a highly difficult process to figure out what course a student who wishes to become an electrical tradesperson should study. When all these questions have been asked and no reasonable answers found, ask why so many international students come to Australia to study as cooks or hairdressers. It is simply that to match any other occupation with an appropriate program of study is insurmountably difficult. So overseas education agents who have a breathtaking source of potential skilled tradespeople - all willing and eager to undertake a course of study if that is what is required to migrate to Australia - are reduced to offering the students a course in commercial cookery or hairdressing because it is too difficult to figure out what else they can be offered. Students seeking to migrate via the vocational education route are required to provide evidence of 900 hours of work experience relevant to their nominated occupation. When everyone is studying cooking or hairdressing, how can they get a part-time job in that occupation? Ask TRA how to determine from what occupation on the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations a student should provide evidence of their 900 hours. TRA doesn't know. And it doesn't know how it would assess the work experience (or, if it does know, it intends to keep that a state secret). Regulators have failed our nation and the needs of our booming economy and failed our international student market. If the regulators want to reduce the concentration of vocational education students in the few well publicised courses, then let them provide a way for education agents and migration agents to guide students to an appropriate course ofstudy and advise on appropriate work experience. It is not that the agents are cheating; the incredibly complex system leaves them no way to find another appropriate course. Ask the higher education sector where its international students are concentrated. The answer is simply accounting because that is easy for education agents to identify as qualifying their ambitious young clients for permanent residence in Australia. The university pot is calling the vocational education kettle black. :notworthy:John Findley is an education counsellor and migration agent for schools, TAFE colleges anduniversities. Source: The Australian