Student and 457 visas
Former prime minister Tony Abbott wants Australia to cut its immigration intake to what it was under the Howard government.
He told an internet radio station on Tuesday afternoon that “we’ve got to get the numbers down, and get them down very significantly”.
Changes in Australia’s immigration sector were significant under Mr Howard, but not because his government kept the permanent intake — now at 190,000 visas per year — low.
However the latter years of Mr Howard’s prime ministership delivered significant increase to net overseas migration as a proportion of the population.
Chart showing large growth in permanent visas granted annually under Howard.
By the time of the 2007 election, his government had doubled the permanent intake.