In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a range of measures to ensure Australia is protected in health terms and economically. These measures include a doubling of most social security payments to ensure those most vulnerable in Australia have the support they need in a time of great need.
We commend this bold and important plan the Morrison government. However there is one major group of people forgotten in these measures - people seeking asylum. There are currently tens of thousands of people seeking asylum in Australia who are not supported by the government's latest support measures. Horrendously, some don't even have access to Medicare and rely on charities for life-saving medicines and treatment. At a time when a public health crisis is gripping our world, this is just unacceptable. Not only is it bad for those people seeking asylum with inadequate medical care, but it is bad for the broader community.
That's why we are asking you to call your local MP and urge them to ensure that all people seeking asylum in Australia:
- Have access to Medicare
- Receive the same financial support through the Coronavirus package as other people in Australia.
Here are some points to bring up with your local MP's office when you discuss with them:
- Thank them of the proactive and bold response by the government in the face of Coronavirus
- The support package announced by the government will support people in need, ensure the best health response, stimulate the economy and protect the broader community
- However, one significant group of people has been forgotten in this package - people seeking asylum
- Highlight that there are thousands of people seeking asylum in Australia that will be affected by the Coronavirus. Many will lose their casual work, some may be evicted from their homes, and for those who are already destitute the situation will get far worse.
- Express deep concern that many people seeking asylum don't currently even have access to Medicare and rely on charities for basic medicines and treatment. This is totally unacceptable in the face of a public health emergency.
- Ask them to raise this issue immediately with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge and their relevant party spokesperson.
- Reiterate our asks - Access to medicare and appropriate financial support (akin to what has already been announced) for all people seeking asylum, regardless of their visa status.
- Thank them for their time
- Ask them to get back to you with an update in due time