What is your party’s position on the Status Resolution Support Services payments for refugees and asylum seekers living in the community?
It is Australian Greens policy that Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) payments be restored, and increased to the same rate as Newstart to ensure all recent arrivals can fully participate and integrate with Australian communities. Cutting this program has crippled refugees and asylum seekers living in the community with poverty, and shifted costs from the government to already struggling charity, community, and health sectors.
In 2018, the out of touch Liberals changed the eligibility requirements of the Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) program – continuing their attacks on some of the most vulnerable people living in Australia.
Many of the vulnerable people who received this vital assistance have been waiting for the Department of Home Affairs to resolve their immigration status or decide on their visa application. Labor does not support the arbitrary, unjustified, and haphazard way the Liberals have gone about cutting support to these people.
At the 2018 ALP National Conference, Labor committed to ensure people seeking asylum will have means-tested access to funded migration assistance, and to appropriate social services, including income, crisis housing, health care, mental health, community, education and English as a Second Language support during the assessment of the claim for protection.
Labor has also committed to abolishing Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEVs) which leave asylum seekers living in Australia in an unfair state of limbo. A Shorten Labor Government will place those found to be genuine refugees onto permanent protection visas.
To strengthen the integration of refugees into the Australian community, Labor will appoint a Special Envoy for Refugee and Asylum Seeker Issues who will be tasked with developing an Australian Refugee Commission and provide policy advice for Australia’s Humanitarian Program.
The Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) is designed to provide short-term, tailored support to those who have demonstrated barriers to resolving their immigration status.
We have no plans to alter Coalition policy on the Status Resolution Support Services payments.