Population growth from Asia: Giles

p2283-Giles-lunchBy ERWIN CHLANDA

 

The Territory’s population growth is going to come from Asia, Chief Minister Adam Giles told a Chamber of Commerce lunch in Alice Springs today.

 

After touting his government’s economic achievements, and announcing that he would be making a decision about the gas pipeline in three weeks’ time, Mr Giles said in reply to the only question from the floor, asked by the CEO of the Chamber Greg Bicknell: “The Territory has always been a net loser when it comes to migration.

 

“More Australians leave the Territory than come to the Territory each year,” said Mr Giles.

 

“We actually need our population growth to come from Asia. That’s fundamentally where it comes from.

 

“Whether or not you can work out a plan to get more Australians to move to the Territory … history hasn’t proved that to be correct.

 

“I think our plan should be [to get] population from Asia, and follow history’s trends to date.

 

“What we see in the Top End [where unemployment is very low] is a challenge around employment.

 

“There are particular changes around the backpackers which were announced in the Federal Budget this year,” said Mr Giles.

 

“There are more and more employment places that we are not going to be able to fill.

 

“Attracting Australians to the Territory is our preference but I don’t think it is a reality. Our population growth is going to come from Asia.”

 

 

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