Labour lawmaker demands Oz Govt explanation on move to seek skilled Indian migrants

Melbourne, Jan.21 (ANI): A Labour Party lawmaker in Australia has sought a clarification from Prime Minister Julia Gillard about an Indian newspaper report that suggested that Canberra is seeking more skilled migrants, especially from India.

Reacting to the report that has appeared in the Economic Times in India, lawmaker Kelvin Thomson said Australia should focus on training its own people and dealing with the floods crisis rather than boosting skilled migration.

The Economic Times reported that Australia's High Commissioner to India, Peter Varghese, had announced a promotional campaign to attract skilled workers from cities such as Punjab and Chandigarh.

"India is the second largest source of skilled migrants to Australia and we want this number to increase further," he was quoted as saying.

The High Commission said Thursday that the newspaper had confused a cultural promotion with immigration issues.

"This showcase of Australian culture is entirely separate to any consideration of skilled immigration," the Herald Sun quoted the High Commission, as saying.

Thomson has claimed that mass migration is harming the environment and liveability in the cities. He also said that migrants are putting pressure on housing, roads, schools and health services. (ANI)

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