Canberra, July 13 (IANS) Australia’s migrants intake has hit the lowest level in 11 years, a report revealed on Friday.
According to the Department of Home Affairs report, the number of people allowed into Australia under the migration programme in 2017-18 was 162,417, a 10 per cent fall from 183,608 the previous year, reports Xinhua news agency.
It marks the lowest number of migrants entering Australia since 2006-07.
The total decrease of 21,000 also represents the largest single-year fall in more than a decade.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the Department of Home Affairs should act as a “recruitment agency for Australia to bring in the best and brightest”.
The significant fall is the result of a crackdown on fraudulent claims and a rise in the number of visas refused by the government under integrity measures introduced by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
According to the report, the number of visas being refused went up 46 per cent under the new system and the number of applications withdrawn under greater scrutiny rose 17 per cent.
The most significant reduction was in the family stream with those visas, including spousal visas, cut by 15 per cent to 47,732.
The number of skilled migrants also fell significantly, down from 12,468 to 111,099.