The St Vincent de Paul Society is urging the Federal Government to extend available payments and support to people seeking asylum and those on Bridging Visas in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Thousands of people on Bridging Visas have no access to any form of financial support, even when they have no other income,” said The Society’s National Council President Ms Claire Victory.
Many Bridging Visa holders have lost employment out of the economic turmoil caused by COVID-19 but are also barred from social security nets like Centrelink and Medicare available for the wider community. No doubt, the consequences of this will be disastrous if not addressed.
A pandemic unprecedented in our life-times
The Society’s efforts in raising awareness for this come in tandem with those of the Refugee Council of Australia.
“A pandemic of this nature, unprecedented in our life-times, brings great uncertainty and fear for all of us, but especially the people most vulnerable in our society,” said the Refugee Council of Australia on their website.
“The Society supports the Refugee Council of Australia’s call to the Australian Government to extend COVID-19 supplementary payments and Medicare to those seeking asylum,” said Ms Victory.
we are big enough to show compassion
“Despite the challenges facing this country, we are big enough to show compassion and provide meaningful support to this particularly vulnerable group of people in our community.”
The Society nonetheless welcomed recent advancements in welfare made by the Federal Government to provide better security to struggling Australians displaced by the recent crisis.
If you know any friends, family or parishioners seeking asylum or are on Bridging Visas visit the Refugee Council of Australia website for information and support.
For information for all those on Centrelink during COVID-19 click here for a comprehensive information sheet provided by Economic Justice Australia.
If you are feeling distressed because of COVID-19 call Lifeline on 13 11 14 and speak to someone now
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