Email your MP
to call for a safety net.

People who have sought refugee protection
in Australia are living in deep poverty.
Will you h
elp us secure them a safety net?

Over 70,000 people who have sought refugee protection in Australia are waiting for the government to decide on their applications. Most can work to support themselves. However, thousands of them are explicitly prohibited from working because they are barred from renewing their visas.

There are also those who need financial assistance to help meet their basic needs because they have become vulnerable. This includes families with children, the elderly, and people with disabilities, many of whom have been living precariously for a decade and have seen the situations in their home countries deteriorate significantly since they first applied for refugee status.

They are facing desperate poverty, chronic food shortages, homelessness and dire health issues. They urgently need a basic safety net to help them survive the years waiting for a decision on their protection applications.

This can all change with a simple decision by the Australian Government; we just need you to tell them it’s time to act. Use the form on the right to email your MP today, calling on them to ask Immigration Minister Andrew Giles to take urgent and critical steps for a safety net.

Why is a safety net necessary? 

The Australian Government’s Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) Program is meant to offer the basic help we’re talking about, providing people who cannot support themselves with minimal but vital assistance of $45 a day, some casework support and sometimes access to torture and trauma counselling.

It’s not a lot, but it can help people escape deep poverty and homelessness.

The previous Government cut the program by 95%. The number of people assisted has dropped from more than 29,000 in 2015 to just 1,600 now.

Frontline asylum support charities and community groups simply cannot meet the demand for their services. Food insecurity has reached a catastrophic point, with children from asylum-seeking families being treated for malnourishment and associated developmental delays because they do not have access to sufficient nutritious food. Parents are going two or three days without food to ensure that the small offerings gathered from food pantries will go to their kids first.

Please help us change this by emailing your MP and asking them to call on the Minister for Immigration, Andrew Giles, to expand SRSS eligibility so people facing destitution can meet their basic needs.

What steps are required to create a safety net?

No legal amendments are necessary. No regulatory change is needed. And there’s no need to go before Parliament. The Minister simply needs to instruct the Department of Home Affairs to expand the eligibility criteria of the SRSS Program to address the basic needs of people seeking our protection. This expansion is possible given the $22 million underspend in last year’s budget. A well-targeted use of the current allocation would make a significant difference to the people living in deep poverty.

Please email your MP today about urging the Minister to make this simple yet hugely impactful change.


Photo credit: BalkansCat