JRS Australia welcomes NSW Government emergency relief package for temporary visa holders

29 July 2021

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement that a further $6 million in emergency assistance will be made available to support people seeking asylum and other temporary visa holders in situations of vulnerability across the state.

JRS Australia Country Director Tamara Domicelj said, “the NSW Government’s emergency relief package will provide vital assistance to people seeking asylum who have lost jobs or hours of work but have no access to ongoing Federal Government income support.”

“While we are awaiting details of the package, we anticipate that it will help families and individuals to put food on the table, pay for life-saving medication, keep a roof over their heads, and remain digitally connected with loved ones,” continued Ms. Domicelj.

Since the beginning of the lock down in late June, JRS Australia has seen a 52% increase in emergency referrals to our specialist case work services. This mirrors a similar increase in demand for these services in March 2020, the first month of Sydney’s first lock down.

If the year 2020 is any indication, the need for emergency relief is likely to grow significantly in coming weeks.

“The NSW Government has shown strong leadership during this second wave, in listening to the experts and acting both swiftly and decisively to address the unfolding crisis. We also welcome the collaborative approach adopted across the sector and community at large as we work to meet escalating needs” said Ms. Domicelj.

JRS Australia will continue working closely with diaspora communities, the people we serve, sector partners, our wonderful volunteers and supporters, and relevant NSW Government entities to ensure that people in the most vulnerable situations receive assistance in these circumstances.