On Wednesday 31 October 2018, SCoA Chair Dewani Bakkum and CEO Nick Tebbey attended the Department of Home Affairs’ Industry Summit in Sydney.
The Summit is described by the Department as an opportunity for industry and the Home Affairs Portfolio to work together to identify solutions to the challenges of trade, national security, migration, and border protection. It’s an invitation-only event, headlined by the Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon Peter Dutton MP.
A major focus of the day was on the broader activities of the Department, namely combating a plethora of risks and maintaining security for the nation. Indeed, the Department’s work in the areas of immigration, multiculturalism and citizenship received little attention during the Summit.
In his speech, Minister Dutton did however confirm the importance of immigration to Australia and outlined some of the government’s priorities including regional settlement and the push for a new visa for the agricultural sector. No new detail was provided.
Following an initial plenary session which featured Department leaders from the various portfolios contained within Home Affairs (though notably no representative from the Immigration portfolio), a breakout session on skilled migration featured a presentation from the Department as well as speeches from three experts: Dr Charlie Day, Dr Anna Boucher and Mr Jack Archer of the Regional Australia Institute.
The session looked at the successes of skilled migration and discussed some of the recent developments for regional settlement, including a renewed focus on Designated Area Migration Agreements.
SCoA was glad to take part in the Summit, and found it particularly useful to witness the current operating environment within the Department, as well as the government’s priorities. It provided a telling insight into the focus shift that has occurred over the past number of years.
For more information about the Summit or to discuss any aspect of the Department’s work, please contact our CEO on 02 6282 8515.