Australia lifts permanent immigration by 35,000 to 195,000

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Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. exacerbate / ɪgˈzæs ərˌbeɪt / (v.) – to make a difficult situation or problem even worse

    The slow response of the government to the food shortage exacerbated the problem.

  2. ground staff / graʊnd stæf / (n.) – employees at an airline company that don’t join flights, but focus on helping and assisting passengers at the airport

    The airline company is hiring more ground staff to prepare for travelers in the coming holidays.

  3. exhaust / ɪgˈzɔst / (v.) – to completely use resources like money and supplies until none is left

    Rianne exhausted her savings to keep her small business going.

  4. fiendishly / ˈfin dɪʃ li / (adv.) – extremely or horribly

    It’s a fiendishly heavy task. We’re going to need a lot of help.

  5. panel / ˈpæn l / (n.) – a group of people who have special skills or knowledge and are assigned to give advice or make decisions on something

    The school put together a panel to discuss policy changes.


Read the text below.

The Australian government announced it will increase its permanent immigration intake by 35,000 to 195,000 in the current fiscal year as the nation grapples with skills and labor shortages.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil announced the increase for the year ending June 30, 2023, during a two-day summit of 140 representatives of governments, trade unions, businesses and industry to address skills shortages exacerbated by the pandemic.

O’Neill said Australian nurses have been working double and triple shifts for the past two years, flights were being canceled because of a lack of ground staff and fruit was being left to rot on trees because there was no one to pick it.

“Our focus is always Australian jobs first, and that’s why so much of the summit has focused on training and on the participation of women and other marginalized groups,” O’Neil said.

“But the impact of COVID has been so severe that even if we exhaust every other possibility, we will still be many thousands of workers short, at least in the short term,” she added.

O’Neil said many of the “best and brightest minds” were choosing to migrate to Canada, Germany and Britain instead of Australia.

She described Australia’s immigration program as “fiendishly complex” with more than 70 unique visa programs.

Australia would establish a panel to rebuild its immigration program in the national interest, she said.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced on the first day of the Jobs and Skills Summit that 180,000 free places would be offered in vocational education schools next year at a cost of 1.1 billion Australian dollars ($748 million) to reduce the nation’s skills shortage.

Australia imposed some of the strictest international travel restrictions of a democratic country for 20 months early in the pandemic and gradually reopened to skilled workers from December last year.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Australia will increase its permanent immigration intake to address skills and labor shortages due to the pandemic. What is the situation of skilled labor workers in your country (ex. enough, manageable, critical)? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, how should the government prevent or resolve the lack of skilled laborers if it happened in your country (ex. welcome more migrant workers, train more people)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • What kind of support should the Australian government offer to immigrants who’d like to migrate to their country (ex. tax incentives, housing)? Why? Discuss.
  • According to O’Neil, “the best and brightest minds” choose to migrate to other countries instead of Australia to seek better opportunities. In your opinion, is it okay to leave one’s own country to pursue one’s goals? Why or why not? Discuss.
Category : Top Stories