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IT Cops A Hit As PM Closes Door To Non-Aussie Citizens

CANBERRA: Australia is implementing a new travel ban preventing all non-Australian citizens and residents from coming to the country, due to the coronavirus crisis. Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday said that Australians may still return but will have to self-isolate for 14 days. The moves will come into effect at 9pm tonight (Friday).

The ban is expected to have an immediate impact on the Australian information technology industry, which has faced staff shortages and has depended heavily on imported workers.

Wisetech Global CEO Richard White told the ABC last year that Australia’s IT industry is probably about 200,000 people short. He said IT in Australia is now a $10 billion industry which can ill afford to be short-staffed.

Business woman are checking stock market graph on digital tablet

Other global companies crying out for overseas-trained staff in their Down Under digs include Atlassian, Cochlear and Rode Microphones, the latter synonymous with the growing trend in online podcasts.

The supply of IT engineers, data scientists, toolmakers and other specialists will also be impacted by the Morrison Government’s ban.  

But it’s not all bad news, according to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. In a question-and-answer session on Reddit, Gates this week said that, if a country does a good job testing and shuts down, it could reduce the spread of the coronavirus within six to 10 weeks. – Chris Castellari

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