Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has criticised the exclusion of international students and other temporary visa holders from the Commonwealth’s Disaster Recovery Payment.
Senator Faruqi said:
“It’s cruel and unacceptable to use a person’s visa status to exclude them from vital financial support in the wake of disaster.
“Floods have devastated communities and people living in NSW and Queensland. Everyone affected should be financially supported regardless of their visa status.
“International students’ ineligibility for Disaster Recovery Payments smacks of Covid-era discrimination which harmed so many.
“During the pandemic lockdowns we saw international students neglected, abandoned and mistreated at every turn – excluded from critical schemes like JobSeeker and JobKeeper. Now, they are being locked out of disaster payments.
“The government has not learned its lesson and continues to treat international students as little more than economic opportunities to be exploited.
“International students must be supported and treated as full and valued members of our community.”