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Temporary visa holders hit hard by coronavirus shutdowns turn to charities

May 18th, 2020 | | backpacker

There are concerns some temporary visa holders who’ve lost work in the Riverina area because of coronavirus shutdowns can’t afford basic necessities and are facing homelessness and destitution.

The Red Cross said the Riverina Murray region had one of the largest temporary visa workforces in the country and many had no access to financial support.

Key points:

  • The Red Cross is concerned about temporary visa holders who can’t afford basic necessities
  • Many aren’t eligible for government support schemes and are turning to charities for help
  • The Riverina Murray region has one of the largest temporary visa workforces in the country

Riverina regional manager of migration support programs Neil Barber said more people were turning to charities for help.

“Even if they’ve been here for years working or studying and paying tax, they’re not eligible for a lot of the services available to most people in Australia like Centrelink,” Mr Barber said.

“Many of them have been reliant on people they know in the community who have more resources, utilising savings or seeking support from home where they can get it.”

“They’ve also been turning in increasing numbers to various charities, such as the Salvation Army, Anglicare and St Vincent De Paul.

The Red Cross has been given $7 million by the Federal Government to help temporary visa holders in desperate need.

“When the program was announced in mid-April there were over 8,000 inquiries nationally,” Mr Barber said.

He said there had been a steady increase in people on bridging visas, skilled migrants, students and backpackers needing help in the Riverina Murray but said some may need more help.

“This is emergency relief, it’s not income support,” he said.

“It’s a one-off payment when they’re really struggling with food, medicine or shelter so depending on how long they’re disadvantaged for, there may be need for ongoing support at a local level.”

ED: Is Federal Government doing enough to assist those on Temporary Visas? Comments please….

Source: ABC

Sourced by Mike Barrow





One Response

  1. Macca says:

    Some years back it was revealed that the Federal Government was holding many hundreds of thousand dollars in unclaimed backpacker super money. Could not this money be put back into the industry in a time of need.