Federal government cuts could mean homelessness and destitution for vulnerable asylum seekers in Australia on temporary visas. The cuts to the Status Resolution Support Service program, announced at the end of last year, will take effect from Sunday.
Ninety-five advocate groups spoke out on Monday to oppose cuts to a program that provides an allowance, casework support, housing assistance and counselling to potential refugees.
“Many still have years before a decision will be known on their status,” said Paul Power, the CEO of the Refugee Council of Australia. “The government needs to take a step back and remember for a second that we are talking about people – people who have escaped war and risked death by travelling the long treacherous journey to Australia.”
The CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service, Dr Cassandra Goldie, said
“It is appalling the government is wanting to cut people off income support entirely. People will become homeless, their health will suffer and they will be unable to feed themselves.”