Minister Says Immigration Balances Out Australian ‘Brain Drain’

Minister says immigration balances out Australian 'brain drain'

Updated October 8, 2008 14:35:23

Australia's Immigration Minister, Chris Evans, says a report showing a record number of Australians moved permanently abroad last year is a symptom of a more mobile world.

The report shows 77,000 Australians left the country, and most were professionals and tradespeople of working age.

Senator Evans has told Radio Australia's Connect Asia program while the number moving away is up, the number of people immigrating to Australia is more than balancing out.

“We've also got record numbers of people coming into the country and net migration over 200,000 on the positive side,” he said.

“You will find Australians working all through Asia, the US, the UK in a professional and trade role, but as I say equally, we're attracting a lot people as well and I think it's just a reflection of the global economy.”

Senator Evans says he would be keen for more research on why people are going overseas permanently, and says Australian businesses are concerned about losing talent to overseas companies in a so-called 'brain drain'.

“Like all countries, you have got to fight to hold onto your best and brightest,” he said.

“I know a number of major corporations, I know a couple of the accounting firms for instance, have actually started offering their Australian-based employees three years in an overseas office as part of their way of trying to retain them and so it's a very competitive market and good people get job offers.”



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