Since World War II, Australia has welcomed more than 800,000 people who’ve fled war and persecution. These people have contributed to our communities and our country on every level, from our culture to our sporting traditions, from medicine to the law, from science and research to our global reputation for excellence in the culinary arts.
Yet earlier this year, the federal government outlined a plan to cut support from up to 7,000 people who had come to Australia fleeing war and persecution. The scheme currently provides payments to asylum seekers living in the community while the federal government finalises their protection claim. Without these support programs, thousands of people seeking asylum will become homeless or destitute, forcing them to use already overstretched council and charity sector services.
We are calling on Australians to tell the federal government that we don’t need to cut the SRSS program, that we don’t need to put many people – who might otherwise become our doctors, nurses, lawyers, colleagues, friends and neighbours – out on the streets.
Because when we back our neighbours, they give back.