Speaking at a migration conference, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Giles, announced that over 3 million visas have been finalised since 1 June.

The visa backlog has dropped to 755,000 from almost 1 million while 300 more staff have been hired to escalate the process.

Mr Giles added that the government was on track for a backlog of around 600,000 by the end of the year, “delivering on our commitment to provide certainty to businesses and families”.

“We have adjusted policy settings to reflect changed circumstances – something which should have started well before we were elected,” Mr Giles said.

“We have automated straight forward tasks to free up staff to work on more complex visa applications – bread and butter work of a responsible government,” he said noting that he expects all skilled visas to be processed faster.

“The complexity of the previous prioritisation system was adding up to 45 minutes per application for some skilled visas. I witnessed staff in triage teams sorting visas into different groups instead of making decisions.

“If we prioritise everyone, we prioritise no-one,” he stressed.