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Expert says cutting immigration would be a “disaster”

3AW DRIVE

An immigration expert has warned against a drastic cut to our intake levels due to an upcoming labour skills shortage.

Demographer Peter McDonald addressed the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on Wednesday, at which immigration levels were a hot topic.

Prof McDonald told Nick McCallum he is concerned about our changing demographics.

“We’re facing a labour supply crunch,” he said.

“Over the next decade, about two millions Baby Boomers will be retiring from the labour force, and at the young end, the numbers coming forward are also falling because of the small number of births in the 1990s.”

Prof McDonald said cutting migration to just humanitarian and family intake would be a “disaster”.

“We would have no skilled migration at all,” he said.

Prof McDonald said it’s inaccurate to claim cutting migration would ease congestion issues in major cities.

“You can’t pretend that a small cut in migration is going to fix the congestion or infrastructure problems,” he said.

“15,000 fewer people in Melbourne next year would make absolutely no difference.”

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Photo: Steve Parsons / AAP

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