Migrant workers have died on boats, often in suspicious circumstances
Migrant workers have died on boats, often in suspicious circumstances AFP / Sam Yeh

The Coalition's proposal to ease pressure on the housing market and improve immigration management includes a 25% fall in Australia's overall migration rates over four years, beginning with a sharp 100,000 reduction in the first year.

If a Coalition government is elected, Peter Dutton has called for a sharp decrease in Australia's immigration, Financial Review reported. This includes cutting net overseas migration to around 160,000 from the projected 260,000 for the next fiscal year and cutting permanent visas from 185,000 to 140,000.

The Shadow Treasurer, Angus Taylor, backed the 25% reduction goal, pointing out that it would lessen pressure on the property market.

To better match migration levels with the nation's capacity to supply homes, Taylor reiterated the Coalition's pledge to cut net overseas migration (NOM) and permanent migration by 25% during the first full term of a Coalition administration.

This program is part of a larger plan to ease strains on the housing market, which also includes steps like lowering the proportion of international students attending metropolitan institutions and temporarily prohibiting foreign investors and temporary residents from buying existing properties.

However, the Coalition's proposal faced reproach from Treasurer Jim Chalmers, who called it a "bin fire" and drew attention to the lack of clarity and depth in the migration figures, ABC reported.

"The centrepiece of Peter Dutton's budget reply is now a smoking ruin because of Angus Taylor's speech," said Chalmers. "He couldn't explain the migration numbers. This was the most shambolic appearance by a senior politician at the National Press Club in memory."

The movement of persons into and out of Australia who plan to stay for a year or more is measured by net overseas migration or NOM. According to the government budget released this week, the number will drop from 395,000 in the current fiscal year to 260,000 in 2024–2025.