Stephen Howes

Stephen Howes is Director of the Development Policy Centre and Professor of Economics at the Crawford School of Public Policy, at The Australian National University.


  • Thank you Australia and New Zealand for this Pacific Engagement Visa program coming soon. The industries in Australia need more skilled labours and why not most of us can make it through this time. Waiting to apply for one asap and why not.

  • Thanks for a very interesting and persuasive piece. Sundry thoughts:

    The analysis highlights the gross underrepresentation of Melanesian people in immigration to Australia. How many ex-colonial countries have been so diligent in keeping their former subjects out? The Whitlam Institute’s Pacific & PNG Perspectives reports made clear just how much the difficulty of access to Australia is resented by people living in the arc from PNG to Fiji. It is definitely good for this proposal to identify them as priority countries – data backing up natural justice.

    It would be an interesting exercise to go one step further to look at whether particular places within each country enjoy disproportionate access – and what if anything might be done about it.

    In the longer term it would seem to be logical for Australia & New Zealand to harmonise their Pacific immigration processes – as this shows the current patchwork of front door and back door access is not the most efficient way of doing things. Bring on a Pacific Schengen system!

  • Australia needs to do something fast or her ignorance will see China rise. Melanesian have been neglected for far too long so it will be tough play. Let’s roll the dice!

    Prioritise Melanesian visa’s and you will have the influence!

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