Australia Immigration announces ACT State Migration Plan

10 November 2010

Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen and Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Jon Stanhope have announced the ACT State Migration Plan, part of an initiative to attract skilled immigrants to the State to try and deal with labor shortages.

"State Migration Plans are part of the Gillard Government's continued commitment to supporting the Australian economy by attracting skilled migrants who can positively contribute to our workforce," Bowen said.

"The implementation of State Migration Plans will provide flexibility for state and territory governments to nominate skilled migrants in a broader range of occupations than are currently offered on the Skilled Occupation List," he added.

The Australian Capital Territory, or ACT for short, is the capital territory of Australia and is located on the south-eastern section of the Australian mainland. It is also the smallest self-governing internal territory.

"The ACT has amongst the strongest economy of any jurisdiction in Australia with extremely low unemployment," Mr Stanhope said.

"This has led to skills shortages in some areas and the State Migration Plan will complement ACT Government initiatives to helpalleviate these shortages," he added. According to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, State Migration Plans are agreements between individual states and territories and the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship. The agreements specify the total number of applicants that each state and territory can nominate and what occupations are eligible for nomination.

While state and territory governments have always been able to nominate applicants through the General Skilled Migration Program, the introduction of State Migration Plans is intended to "improve the targeting of this part of the program."

The ACT agreement follows an agreement with the Australian state of Victoria. More agreements with other states are expected in the following weeks.