Alan Tudge, the minister for cities, urban infrastructure and population, said his government wants to limit the number of migrants to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Australian government figures show that nearly 70 percent of the 186,000 migrants who settled in Australia last year arrived on skilled migrant visas, and nearly all moved to Sydney or Melbourne.
At the same time, new migrants will be directed to smaller states and regions that are “crying out for more people” and will be prohibited from living in major cities for at least five years, according to Tudge.
It is estimated that the new policy will greatly affect about 40 percent of migrants who have the desired skills and are looking for work on arrival, according to the Independent.
The new migrants will be given incentives to settle in Darwin, Perth, Hobart, Adelaide and Canberra. The minister, however, did not provide details on how the policy would be enforced.
“You can also put conditions on people’s visas as well to stay in a particular area for at least a few years,” Tudge said.
The new policy will not apply to migrants sponsored by employers who may need them in the three major cities and those on family reunion visas. Also a foreigner marrying an Australian would also be free to live where they choose, according to the minister.
A poll published in September found 63 percent of Sydney residents surveyed said they support restrictions on the number of migrants moving to Australia’s biggest city.