Australia to Fast Track Visa Processing for Migrants Moving to regional Queensland

Immigrants and refugees who agree to settle in regional Queensland could have their visa application fast-tracked, according to a proposal by the Queensland government's premier Campbell Newman.

The premier has discussed with the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison about a plan with several strategies to fast-track Australian visa applications in return for driving growth outside Queensland's booming south east to alleviate pressure.

The proposal is part of Mr. Newman's plan and was first raised in last year's Queensland Plan summits.

About 100,000 overseas migrants come to live in Queensland each year. Currently about 65 percent of the state's population live in the southeast, taking in Brisbane and the Gold and Sunshine coasts. By introducing the proposal, the Newman government is aiming to have half the state's population living outside the southeast by 2043.

The population of Queensland is expected to double up to about eight million in the next 30 years. According to the premier, it is a no brainer to look to the regions to accommodate that growth.

The governments would work with councils to influence where immigrants and refugees go. The proposal is expected to increase Queensland's migration intake.

Mr. Newman has also promised to focus on infrastructure projects in the regions to help support his growth plans.

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