Last Tuesday the Federal Parliament approved the extension of the JobSeeker and JobKeeper aid programs for a further six months. Although with little foresight the number of subsidies will be reduced with time, it is still comforting news for many workers and businesses that will continue to benefit from them. However, even this time, the measures will not be extended to those who have been excluded in the past, making their conditions even more difficult and precarious.
Amongst them, there are many Italians with temporary visas, to whom Nomit is trying to ensure help by all means and thanks to the great solidarity effort made last April by the Italian community.
In the period between the 14th of April, when the first donation was paid and 31st of August, a total of 207 Italians with temporary visas have received economic support, up from 183 on the 6th of July. 208 Lampo ($100 donations) have been distributed so far, an increase from 180 on the 6th of July. In total, 205 people have received the $100 payment (three of them have received two).
Mano, a free loan scheme, started on the 1st of May. As of the 31st of August, 68 people have benefitted from it. It may be worth considering that during the same period 72 Manos were approved, but that 4 of the recipients turned down the aid a few days after the approval since they had just found a job and they asked for the loan to be allocated to someone facing an even more challenging situation than theirs. This proves the honesty and, above all, the community spirit shown by the people we have been in contact with and this is a great feature of the RceCovid-19 project.
In summary, $54,800 has been distributed to the community up until the 31st of August, $20,800 in the form of $100 Lampo donations and $34,000 through the Free Loan Scheme called Mano.
We are totally aware that our help is not enough for those that found themselves struggling for months, a situation that leads to long lasting uncertainty affecting the everyday life, future prospects, and above all the mental health of temporary migrants, with unknown long term consequences. In a nutshell, the legislation temporary migrants lives are framed by creates social and economic inequalities. During this Covid crisis, every level of Governments in Australia has done a lot but has done little to tackle these discriminatory conditions.
For a rich and socially developed country like Australia not taking adequate actions to alleviate the risk of social and financial disruptions for temporary migrants is planned injustice.
Nomit has therefore decided to present an Agenda of basic requirements. We have called it a Survival Agenda as it is essential not just to give migrants an actual chance to make the best of their life experience in Australia but deliver an advantage for the future improvement of Australia’s economy and society.
We offer this Agenda to the Australian Governments as well as to Italian institutions representing the Italian community in Australia for immediate and substantial actions in supporting temporary migrants in Australia.
A survival Agenda
- Extension of Medicare for every temporary migrant until the end of 2020.
- Review of school fees owing until the end of the year, including a suspension of fees owing to time missed
- Extension of the length of every temporary visa at no cost for a period of time at least equivalent to the lockdown period.
- Governments contribution in favor of Working Holiday Visa makers to sustain them during the quarantine required before starting a job in Regional Australia
- Provision of a Governments contribution for international students up to $3000 according to their income over the lockdown period
- Extension of free childcare until the end of 2020.
Download the Preliminary report on the Community response to the Covid-19 Emergency – 5 July 2020 curated for Nomit by Enrico Moscon