Australian Immigration – New Minister Chris Bowen

As predicted Chris Evans has been replaced as Minister for Immigration. He has been moved to the position of Minister of Jobs, Skills and Workplace Relations.

His replacement is former Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation (pensions) and Corporate Law, Chris Bowen.

So what can we expect from this new Minister?

To judge from his record to date we can expect Minister Bowen to favor any migrant who can help the Australian economy.

He was elected to Parliament in 2004 as Deputy Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, Finance and Public Administration. He was also a member of the Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services.

In December 2006, he was elected to the Federal Labor Party’s frontbench and was the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Revenue & Competition Policy.

He was appointed Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs when the current Labor Government took power in 2007. In 2009, he was elevated to the cabinet and appointed Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law, and Minister for Human Services.

I don’t expect there to be any major changes in the short term as a result of this new appointment. There may be slight changes to the State Migration Plans but these changes, if any, will reflect the new Minister’s appreciation for the real needs of the Australian economy for the next 2-5 years.

My assessment of Minister Bowen is that he is methodical and thorough. I predict that he will propose some insightful, forward thinking and possibly radical policy changes in 6-9 months time.