NSW Government must now follow Tasmania’s lead

Sydney Alliance welcomes the decision by the Tasmanian Government to provide $3 million of financial assistance to temporary migrant workers and implores the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to follow their lead.

  • The Alliance is a coalition of 40 faith and community groups, unions and not-for-profits.
  • Across the Alliance organisations, migrant members have been facing a dire situation, cut off from Federal Government assistance and affordable healthcare during the COVID-19 crisis.

What we are hearing:

  • Vulnerable newcomers left with under $50 in their pocket.
  • 5000 registered for emergency relief in under a week. Not sufficient to cover hundreds of thousands left exposed.
  • International students and migrant workers ‘first to go’ when businesses decide who to keep and who to retain.

NSW to act if Canberra doesn’t:

"Ideally, the Federal Government, with a stroke of a pen, would expand Jobkeeper and Jobseeker to cover vulnerable newcomers and migrant workers in distress. In view of their failure to do so, we call on NSW to act”

said Sydney Alliance Lead Organiser, David Barrow.

Human and economic cost:

We know that international students alone make a contribution as high as 30-60 billion to the Australian economy. A stitch in time, saves nine. Emergency relief now could save lives and an industry. Support students and retain NSW’s reputation as a student destination of choice.

In NSW Government’s own words:

The NSW Government’s own agency Study NSW recognises that

“This is a challenging time for everyone. We know that some international students are struggling to meet their living expenses. Given the global impact of COVID-19 many families and funding sources from students' home countries have also been impacted.

We also know that some students may wish to return home but at the moment this may not be possible due to restricted flight access or borders closing in other countries.”

Quotes attributable to Sydney Alliance Chair, Mary Waterford AM

“We represent over 500,000 Sydneysiders who believe it is time to include every employee and business in Jobkeeper. If you’re in Australia, you are our responsibility to look after. Your visa status or length of employment shouldn’t matter.  Migrant workers prepare our meals, clean our schools and care for our sick and elderly. They have established lives in our communities and pay taxes to our state and federal governments".

Quotes attributable Fr Peter Smith on behalf of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney:

“It’s our belief that the government has a duty of care to all people living here at this time. We need to respect the most vulnerable in our communities and some of our migrant workers who don’t have permanent citizenship are among the most vulnerable. We call on the Government to include these people in all compensation packages.”

Media Contact:

David Barrow

Lead Organiser
Sydney Alliance

M: 0416 028 001 Edbarrow@sydneyalliance.org.au


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