Increases in Regional Visas to cope with Australia’s patchwork economy have been announced in a press release on the website of Chris Bowen the Minister of Immigration and Citizenships. The Ministers website contains the following:
“Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen MP said the planned migration program in the 2012–13 Budget would provide support to the growth regions and sectors of Australia's economy struggling to meet acute skills shortages.
'The measured increase of 5000 places—from 185 000 to 190 000—comes in the context of significant skills gaps in both the short and medium term in certain sectors of our patchwork economy,' Mr Bowen said.
... Mr Bowen said regional visas would also continue to be given high processing priority to recognise the needs of regional employers and encourage regional migration.
Up to 16 000 places have been reserved for the regional sponsored migration scheme (skilled) to ensure those areas have the support they need to fill skills gaps, grow local economies and strengthen communities.”