Political upheaval costs lawyer a client

The change of prime minister has cost at least one Mountains lawyer, with a potential client and would-be migrant to Australia deciding to settle in Canada instead.

Justin Rickard

Justin Rickard

Justin Rickard from Wentworth Falls said he was astonished when an Indian IT specialist he had been advising on immigration law said he had changed his mind about coming to Australia because of the “volatile political situation”.

“It was the first time anyone had ever said to me they didn’t want to come to Australia for that reason,” Mr Rickard said.

“I was quite stunned when he said that. It isn’t a good look for Australia to have this going on.”

It isn’t a good look for Australia to have this going on.

Justin Rickard

Mr Rickard had been advising the young man, a “smart, savvy, well-educated” person who specialised in information technology and wanted to move to Australia.

He sent his client, identified only as Sunil to protect his confidentiality, some detailed information on the day after Scott Morrison was elected leader to replace Malcolm Turnbull.

He got a quick reply which said, in part: “After carefully considering the facts of the volatile political situation in Australia currently and the complexity involved in profiles like mine to migrate to Australia, I am seriously contemplating migrating to Canada.

“I did a brief evaluation of my profile during the past few days for this purpose and it seems that the Canadian route is much easier and quicker for skilled migrants.”

Mr Rickard said while he was quite able to absorb the loss of one client, he felt it did nothing for the country’s international reputation.

“A lot of people are very dismayed and disgusted at the fourth prime minister getting the knife.”

He said would-be migrants would look closely at Australia’s politics.

“A lot of people don’t want to live in countries where there is political instability and that’s how it’s starting to look to some outsiders.”