PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has endorsed a South Australian Opposition plan to encourage overseas migrants to the state.
“I am very sympathetic towards the idea of trying to get more people into this country, in particular this state, who are going to work and pay taxes from day one,” he said in Adelaide on Wednesday.
He earlier met Opposition leader Steven Marshall, who is facing a state election on March 15.
Mr Marshall said he presented Mr Abbott with his action plan to try to rebuild the state’s economy.
They had a “very productive discussion” where Mr Marshall put forward areas for co-operation between a SA liberal government and the commonwealth.
“The four key areas were defence spending, infrastructure spending, a differential status for migration to South Australia and a more co-operative working relationship between Austrade and the South Australian government to access foreign markets,” he said.
Mr Abbott said he was very sympathetic to Mr Marshall’s idea of trying to get more people into the state who would work and pay taxes from day one and were not “stealing our jobs”, but rather were building our country, he said.
“I honour them and I want to see more people like that in this country and this state.”
Mr Abbott said the federal government was going to spend a lot of money in South Australia over the next few years, including on infrastructure and defence projects.