Within a few weeks, Victoria entered the Stage 3 lockdown, after a brief period when restrictions were relaxed, and then into a new and tighter Stage 4, with drastic limitation to the people movements which affected the possibility to work for many. For all those who are excluded from any type of government support, such as JobSeeker or JobKeeper, everyday life has, therefore, become increasingly difficult, putting even a strain on those who have tried to hold during the first lockdown.
In the meantime, the dramatic mistake made by excluding from subsidies a vulnerable part of the workforce, such as precarious (casual) or temporary visas workers, has become increasingly evident as one of the main causes of a new wave of the virus in Victoria. Albeit in extreme delay, state and then federal governments have therefore tried this time to fix the damage, allowing everyone to follow the rules imposed by the quarantine. A special subsidy of $ 300 was established for those who have to do the test and remain in isolation until they receive the results and a $ 1,500 two weeks surviving payment will be provided for those who tested positive and need to stay home. Both of these benefits have no visa restrictions. To apply you are asked to reside in Victoria, prove that you could have worked while you have to remain in isolation and that you cannot work from home. Therefore, you should demonstrate that you not receiving any wages or payments from your work. In addition, you must have exhausted all kinds of paid sick leave and not receive other types of subsidies from the government.
Meanwhile, Nomit keeps offering its support, for all Italian temporary residents in Victoria, including student visa holders. It consists of a $ 100 “Lampo” aid and free microcredit of $ 500. Carried on by Nomit’s volunteers since last April, this project has been possible thanks to the solidarity shown by the Italian community and the Coasit of Melbourne. As of August 3, 2020, 215 people benefited from the funds raised. Between them, there are 113 Working Holiday Visa makers, 81 Students, 25 Partner or Skilled Visa holders, and three visitors. Therefore, as of August 3, 2020, the total funds allocated amounted to $ 45,400, of which $ 18,900 for the 189 Lampo of $ 100 and $ 26,500 for the 53 Mano of $ 500 each.
Unfortunately, after more than three months spent in trying to help young Italians in need, our association is quickly running run out of money and with the new tight measures imposed by the Victorian government, which are supposed to last until mid-September, we fear that many people who have been capable to find a way through till today, may now find themselves in a bad situation. As Board of Nomit we are strongly concerned about the evolution of the crisis and its ongoing effects on the most vulnerable part of our community. We, therefore, renew our appeal for a more effective intervention by the Italian Embassy of Canberra and the Com.It.Es of Victoria, which have remained on the sidelines till now.