End of year event and AGM


From: Thursday December 15, 2022, 5:00 pm

To: Thursday December 15, 2022, 6:30 pm


Cordially Invites You to Our


Date: Thursday 15 December 2022

Th Economic Society is looking forward to getting together in person, and promoting connection among our members and those interested in contemporary economic issues and debate.

Please join us as we hear from our guest speaker, Brendan Coates, who will discuss skilled migration.

Rethinking skilled migration after the pandemic

After the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia again faces a number of big challenges: sluggish productivity growth, a growing structural budget deficit as our population ages, and a rapid transition to a net-zero economy. A better skilled migration program can help address each of these.

At the same time, Australia's migration program is not working as it should. Employer sponsorship is now both more costly and less certain, and firms can sponsor fewer high-wage migrants than in the past. Complex and cumbersome visa rules lead to long delays, yet exploitation of low-paid temporary migrants persists. Fewer temporary skilled migrants and students transition to permanent visas, and many that do spend years jumping across visas on the way there. We risk squandering many of the benefits skilled migration offers.

In this talk, Grattan Institute Economic Policy Program Director Brendan Coates will show how Australia must first rethink the objectives of skilled migration to get a better deal. Permanent skilled migration should not seek to address skills shortages, or be limited solely to particular occupations. Instead, permanent visas should offer target younger, higher-skilled migrants who will most benefit Australia in the long term. A less prescriptive and more flexible system that attracts the world's best and brightest is also the best way to bolster Australia's sovereign capabilities. 

But the Review should resist calls to further expand low-skilled migration. Australia already facilitates permanent migration for large numbers of less-skilled migrants, typically as the spouses of Australians and skilled migrants, as well as international students, working holiday makers and Pacific migrants here on temporary visas. Further expanding less-skilled migration for lower-wage jobs risks taking Australia further down the path towards becoming a "guest worker" society, increasing exploitation and undercutting the wages of low-paid Australian workers.

With the first wholesale review of Australia’s migration program in decades now underway, a redesigned migration program can help Australia meet the big challenges our nation faces.  

Order of events:

5.00pm – 5.30pm members and guests arrive, complementary hot and cold food available

5.30pm – 6.15pm guest speaker and Q&A

6.15pm – 6.30pm AGM

6.30pm – formalities close, but guests are welcome to continue socialising

Venue: The Kelvin Club

14-30 Melbourne Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000

Finger food will be provided.

Drinks available at bar prices.


Please register your attendance below.

If you are interested in nominating for Council, please follow these instructions.






Bookings are now closed


The Kelvin Club

14-30 Melbourne Place, Melbourne VIC 3000

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