Today the Mayors of 22 local councils representing almost 3 million Victorians signed a joint statement against the Federal Government’s changes to Status Resolution Support Services for people seeking asylum.
The statement was part of the Back Your Neighbour Campaign launch by Victorian local councils working together to petition the Federal Government to restore SRSS to people seeking asylum living in their wards, and across Australia.
The Government has changed to eligibility for support services, putting around 7000 people seeking asylum nationally, including 4000 children at risk of homelessness and extreme poverty.
Under the new eligibility criteria, mothers who care for school aged children and the elderly are at risk of being cut off all support, and will not be able to pay rent, buy food and medicines.
The ASRC’s housing, case work and food bank services are under enormous strain, with a growing waiting list of men, women and children in urgent need, as more and more people are cut off SRSS, including families in 2019, if the policy is not reversed.
The ASRC Innovation Hub currently works with 1000 people to find pathways to employment.
The government is not providing job readiness pathways and skills development to assist people get a job when they are not eligible for SRSS, which we know is what gets people into sustainable employment.
Director of the ASRC’s Innovation Hub, Abiola Ajetomobi was part of the Back Your Neighbour campaign launch today and said that having a safety net enables people to have the physical and mental capacity to engage with education and employment services.
“Everyday we see people doing everything they can to find a job, people want to support themselves and their families.”
“Without an address, without basic needs met, particularly for the children of our members, it is very difficult for people to concentrate on finding work.”
“Furthermore, we are seeing more people driven into exploitative, low paid work where they can get injured and have no security, safety or rights at work.”
“The government must restore SRSS to avoid a humanitarian crisis in Australia, with thousands of men, women and children at risk of exploitation at work, homeless and extreme poverty,” Abiola said.
The ASRC welcomes the initiative by Victorian local councils, the layer of government closest to communities, to encourage Victorians to Back their Neighbour by putting pressure on the federal government to restore support services, and for communities to respond to the looming crisis.Leave a reply →