Federal Response To Wa Skills Shortages 'disappointing'

Western Australian Treasurer Eric Ripper says he is disappointed the Federal Government has not responded to calls for help to alleviate the State's skills shortage.

Western Australian Treasurer Eric Ripper says he is disappointed the Federal Government has not responded to calls for help to alleviate the State's skills shortage.

He wants Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone to allow Perth to take in more skilled migrants by recognising it as a regional area of importance like Adelaide.

Mr Ripper wrote to Senator Vanstone in September and says he has not received a response.

He says he fears the economy could suffer if the issue is not addressed soon.

"We've got a shortage of skilled labor which is threatening to choke off our boom, that boom is supporting the rest of the country," he said.

"The Federal Government could assist the whole nation and Western Australia if it made Perth a destination under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme like Adelaide."

Mr Ripper says WA took in 12,000 skilled migrants in three years, but the Chamber of Commerce and Industry says at least 20,000 are needed each year to address the shortage.

"We're not getting that number, they're going to Sydney and Melbourne and we need them diverted to Western Australia," he said.

"Senator Vanstone can assist if she changes the immigration rules."

Senator Vanstone has been contacted for comment.

- ABC News Online

National Visas
Web site: http://www.nationalvisas.com.au
Address: 3 - 118 Church Street
Hawthorn, Victoria
Australia 3122
Phone: +61 (0) 3 9697 4922

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