Abbott Government plans to send immigrants and refugees to Queensland regional towns

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IMMIGRANTS and refugees wanting to call Queensland home will be required to live in regional cities and towns to alleviate future growing pains in the southeast corner.

The Courier-Mail can reveal the Newman and Abbott governments have begun initial discussions about developing a quota system aimed at funnelling new arrivals into cities such as Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton to promote growth.

Requiring prospective Queensland residents to live in a predetermined city for a designated period would have to be considered as part of their residency conditions to prevent people circumventing the decentralisation policy by moving shortly after they’ve been granted access.

Premier Campbell Newman said Queensland had a unique opportunity to grow regional centres unlike NSW, Victoria, South Australia and West Australia which were virtually single-city states.

“I have actually already had a discussion with the Federal Immigration Minister and we will work on some sort of plan or policy together to try and get people to go as immigrants and refugees to regional Queensland,” he said.

Mr Newman said the governments would work together with councils to consider ways to prioritise residency applications for people prepared to live in certain areas.

“I am prepared to say these are the immigration targets that we will take in Queensland of migrants and refugees,” he said.

“But we want to actually have really a great deal of influence about where they go, working with the mayors.”

Source: Courier Mail