New details: The immigrants calling southeast home
ALMOST 8000 overseas migrants permanently moved to Queensland in just three months, with the majority bypassing regional centres to settle in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
As the nation's leaders and the community grapples with migration levels and whether new Australians should be forced to move to the regions, exclusive and detailed data published today by The Courier-Mail reveals where they are moving to, where they came from, their religious status and their English proficiency.
The most recent Social Services Department records reveal that between July 1 and September 30, 2018, there were 7707 permanent settlers in Queensland under the humanitarian, family and skilled streams.
Those who are given humanitarian visas are usually refugees; those granted skilled visas fill a shortage in the labour market; and the family stream is mostly made up of partners and others, enabling family reunification.
Of all streams, most were aged between 25-34 years.
Nationally, there were 57,518 overseas migrants who permanently moved to Australia during the three-month period. Most migrants moved to NSW and Victoria.
More women than men moved to Queensland. Under all three visas streams, most new migrants moved to the southeast corner.
More than 370 migrants who were granted humanitarian and family visas moved to Logan. However, about 160 and 106 reunifying with family set up home in Cairns and Ipswich respectively.
Skilled workers filling labour shortages in the state settled in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast.
However, more than 200 migrants on skilled visas moved to Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton.
Most of the migrants who moved to the state under the skilled visa stream were from India and China. The majority who received a family visa were from China and the Philippines. The greatest number of people who settled in Queensland after being granted a humanitarian visa were from Iraq.
Most who came under humanitarian grounds were Christian or Yazidi. Hundreds had poor or no proficiency in English but in most cases English proficiency was not recorded. It comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison has given Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk by the end of the month to decide how big she wants Queensland's population to be, and what regions can take more migrants.
Mr Morrison is working on the nation's first modern population strategy and has asked states to better plan for infrastructure for the coming 15 years.
In December, Mr Morrison told The Courier-Mail that Australians' quality of life would impacted by population and planning.
"We need to carefully manage population growth to protect the quality of life enjoyed by all Australians," Mr Morrison said.
"This means working to avoid congestion in our major cities while supporting the growth of regional areas, where it is important to maintain and expand service delivery and create more jobs.
"It has to work in Melbourne as well as Darwin, in Rockhampton as well as Bunbury.
"We're a big country and the population management issues are different."
The Courier-Mail also revealed late last year that Treasurer Josh Frydenberg had requested a review of zonal taxation rates, foreshadowing tax breaks to encourage more people to settle outside cities.
South African migrant Cameron Thomas, 35, said he came to Australia for work in 2012, his wife Carol joined not long after.
"If Brisbane wasn't on the cards I would be able to live elsewhere but this would without doubt be my first choice," he said.
"It's got so much more to offer than a regional area.
"It's a nice place to raise a family with lots of schools and beautiful parks."