The political events of the last couple of weeks have not only resulted in Australia having a new Prime Minister but also a number of changes in the new Prime Minister’s cabinet. One of the changes Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made is the appointment of David Coleman to the role of Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Minister.
The big issue here though is not so much who the new Minister for Immigration is but how this change effects the immigration portfolio. With the Liberal Party in power and all the changes they have gone through in this term, it makes it increasingly hard for new ministers to get up to speed on their new portfolios in a timely manner.
Another thing to bear in mind is that a federal election is imminent. We could have a new government in as little as six months. Taking this into account, it stands to reason that by the time David Coleman wraps his head around the Immigration portfolio it may be time for him to campaign to protect his position in his electorate of Banks, New South Wales. In this case, it’s more than likely that immigration will take a back seat.
But what will a Labor government mean for immigration? If a Labor government is elected then there will not only be a new Prime Minister but a new Immigration Minister yet again. If this happens, adequate time will need to be allowed for the new minister to catch up on the portfolio.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has indicated he considers immigration a complex issue and has not yet commented on whether Labor would change immigration levels if elected. Mr Shorten has said that the number of immigrants Australia accepts in the future should be determined by the population that Australia’s infrastructure can support. He acknowledges that immigration has been good for Australia but if our infrastructure can’t handle the numbers then that’s a big issue and doesn’t do us any good.
All this turnover in immigration ministers can’t be good for the immigration portfolio.
With so much change, time will tell how the immigration portfolio will fare through all of this.
If you need any expert advice on any aspects of migration, speak to one of the VSA team today. It is a complex subject so it is important to speak with someone in the know.