Australia to hand out more visas than ever
Australia will issue a record 5 million temporary visas this year. Michael Pezzullo, the Secretary of the Department of Immigration, said about 1.9 million foreign visitors will be staying in the country at any given time during 2015. Mr Pezzullo predicted the permanent migrant intake this year is likely to exceed the record – 185,000. The total of Asian-born migration is growing, he said. About 450,000 Australians were born in China, and the Indian-born Australian community now numbers 400,000. Mr Pezzullo said a strategic focus on skilled migrants wa key to improving the nation’s economy.
Mother of accused killer offers condolences to family of Stephanie Scott
The family of the man charged for the murder of schoolteacher Stephanie Scott expressed their condolences before her funeral today. Anika Stanford said she has experienced grief and shock since her son, Vincent, was charged with Ms Scott’s murder. She has asked Leeton mayor Paul Maytom to pass on her condolences to the families of Ms Scott. A private memorial was be held today at the Eugowra function centre where Ms Scott and her fiancé were scheduled to marry on April 11. A public gathering was scheduled at Mountford Park in Leeton.
Gallipoli deemed safe for Anzac Day celebrations
An international analysis has found that Anzac Day Centenary commemorations have not heightened risks in Gallipoli despite terrorist plot linked arrests in Melbourne this week. The analysis was jointly conducted by Australian and New Zealand security agencies. “Attending the event here in Gallipoli will be one of the safest places in Turkey for Australian and New Zealand visitors,” the Australian services director, Tim Evans, said. Mr Evans agreed the stricter evaluation was a reasonable reaction to the conflict occurring in much of Syria and Iraq beyond the eastern borders of Turkey where Islamic State forces hold control. Turkey has boosted security measures to protect the many VIPs and world leaders, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott, attending the centenary.
Carbon emission cuts of 30 per cent proposed
By 2025 Australia should reduce carbon emissions to nearly 30 per cent below 2000 levels to match efforts by comparable world economies, the Climate Change Authority says. A draft report on Australia’s future emissions reduction targets, submitted to Environment Minister Greg Hunt this week, says current plans to achieve a minimum reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 5 per cent by 2020 will leave Australia well-placed to meet its recommended 2025 target of 30 per cent. Mr Hunt said he would consider all the report’s recommendations but argued that they would subject Australia to reductions a third more onerous “than any other country”. – Alison Cheung
Top image from Roman Joost’s Flickr photostream.