Immigration contributes to record population growth in Western Australia
The population of Western Australian grew by 6% to reach a total of 2,5 million people. Most of the growth is actually attributed to the large number of foreigners who come to work in the state particularly those with subclass 457 temporary visas. Western Australian is the larges region in the country with an area of more than 2 million square meters at the same time only 10 percent of the total population lives there. Most of them are concentrated in the province’s capital Perth. The population growth rate in the state is one of the fastest in Australia. The largest contributors for the growth according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics are the immigrants who work there attracted by the flourishing economy of the Western Australia particularly the mining sector and the tourism industry. Over 50,000 people who were either 457 visa holders or their family members came to live and work in Western Australia over the year to March 2013.
Subclass 457 visas or temporary work visas as they are also known are issued to people who are sponsored by companies that are approved by the Australian government. It gives them the right to live and work in the country for up to four years. After the visa has expired its holders are eligible to apply for permanent residency in Australia if they choose to. Recently there have been some concerns that the 457 visa program might be scaled back. The reasons for this were claims that the program is hurting the emplolyment opportunities for local Australian workers. Nevertheless the current Australian Prime Minister is a proponent of the program and wants to make it one of the cornerstones of the immigration policy of the country during his term.
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