Property Council of Australia supports international students returning to NSW

The return of international students will significantly benefit inner-city residential and commercial vacancy rates across the country, according to the Property Council of Australia.

The announcement:

The Property Council of Australia has championed the announcement of a pilot plan from the NSW Government to return international students to our shores by the end of this year. 

Property Council NSW Executive Director Luke Achterstraat said the level of magnitude in this decision is a reflection on how much it will have a positive impact on an array of sectors throughout the economy and people’s lives. 

“The international education sector plays a vital role in jobs, property and prosperity as the state bounces back after a lengthy COVID-19 lockdown and will reactivate our metro and regional CBDs right across NSW,” Mr Achterstraat said. 

“While Australia’s economy is emerging from COVID-19 in far better shape than most of our international counterparts, there is no longer a large pool of international students able to balance their studies with 40 hours of work each fortnight. 

“In addition to filling vacancies that are traditionally appealing to the student cohort, there has also been a big reduction to ancillary spending on tourism, food and beverage and other industries that have been the hardest hit during this pandemic.

“In March 2021, there were just 230 temporary student visa arrivals and 160 temporary work visa arrivals across the whole of Australia. This represents a decline of 99.7 per cent and 99.3 per cent, respectively, year-on-year.

“To be able to reconnect with our international education sector, which was worth $14.6 billion to NSW in 2019, this pilot plan will help lead our nation to regain confidence and kickstart our economy.”

Mr Achterstraat said the Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) Industry Working Group joined with the education sector participants to develop practical solutions to COVID-19’s devastating impact on the flow of international students to Australia.  

“The PBSA industry is set to provide accommodation and pastoral support for over 114,000 students across Australia – its commitment to accelerating the education of international students evidenced with 31,000 purpose-built beds built across the country over the last five years is worth an estimated $9.3 billion,” he said. 

“On top of this, PBSA developments under construction and in planning could also supply the needs of a further 30,000 students over the next three to five years.”

Source: Property Council of Australia

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