Strong skilled migration helped population growth leading to a boom in residential building, according to HIA. Picture: AAP Image/Troy Snook.
Strong skilled migration helped population growth leading to a boom in residential building, according to HIA. Picture: AAP Image/Troy Snook.

Housing industry warns against migration cuts

THE housing industry's peak body has warned against dramatic cuts to migration levels, predicting it would cause economic shockwaves and impact state coffers.

It comes after Scott Morrison today revealed plans to cut the number of migrants coming to Australia by up to 30,000 a year. 

Housing Industry Association principal economist Tim Reardon warned against "whip-lash changes to migration strategies for fear of adversely impacting employment, wealth creation and revenue necessary to supply infrastructure and services".

He said cuts to migration would weaken the economy.

"The economic growth over the past decade has been built on the back of strong growth in skilled migration. This population growth has led to a boom in residential building," he said in a statement.

"The building and construction industry now employs one in ten workers in and supplies at least one in five of every dollar of revenue to the states.

"A dramatic change in migration intake can create economic shocks to industries, including the building industry."

The HIA called on the Government to ensure a high level of skilled migration made up any intake.

"Tighter Visa requirements and punitive taxation regimes imposed on foreign investors last year are continuing to shift migration and investment away from Australia, toward our major trading partners.

"Governments should be cautious of thinking that migration and investment can be switched on and off."