Standing together for asylum seekers
Thursday 30 August 2018
We have joined with 17 other local councils to call on the Australian Government to stop funding cuts to essential support services for asylum seekers.
Along with other local councils including Brimbank, Darebin, Greater Dandenong and Moreland, we issued a joint statement that asks the Australian Government to provide adequate resources to meet the needs of people seeking asylum who live in the community, including in Yarra.
The Australia Government's Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) program provides support to vulnerable individuals who are waiting to have their immigration status determined, including people seeking asylum. However, the Government has introduced cuts that will prevent people seeking asylum from accessing this important service, including income support and access to critical trauma counselling and case management.
The joint statement advocates for stronger collaboration between the different levels of government, commits to evaluating the allocation of resources to asylum seekers from local government, and calls on the Australian Government to take the following measures:
Commitment 1: We want the Australian Government to reverse the recent assessment changes to the Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) program and provide adequate income and case management support for people seeking asylum while they seek sustainable employment.
Commitment 2: We strongly call on the Australian Government to provide funding to enable accurate initial job readiness assessment by trained employment consultants who understand the unique and significant barriers that people seeking asylum face.
Commitment 3: We want the Australian Government to provide additional funding to enable asylum seekers to be registered as Stream B and C job seekers within the jobactive network of agencies to facilitate ongoing job readiness assessment and skilled employment consultant support.
Commitment 4: The Australian Government needs to improve local area coordination in cooperation with LGA’s. We call on the Australian Government to work with local municipalities in exploring the feasibility of local coordination points to better respond to local area need.
Commitment 5: We strongly call on the Australian Government to provide greater resourcing to reinforce the capacity of community service and voluntary organisations to assist people seeking asylum to live safely in local communities and receive emergency relief and material aid support until such time as they receive a substantive visa or are deported.