Give Full Centrelink Support for Kiwis who live and work in Australia. COVID-19

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Sarona MUNA
Sarona MUNA signed this petition

This petition is asking for the Australian Government to reinstate full Centrelink support to New Zealand Citizens living in Australia during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

There is a relatively small number of Kiwis living in Australia who have found themselves suddenly out of work because of the COVID-19 outbreak and consequential shutdowns.  

I myself received a text message on my way to work, telling me that unfortunately I no longer have a job. The job market is flooded with approximately 2 million casual, contractors, and sole traders who have all just lost their jobs. My Mum is here with me, is high-risk for COVID-19, and now can’t return to New Zealand. And I’ve heard from hundreds of Kiwis with heartbreaking stories. People with families, mortgages, and no way to keep going. 

There are only 650,000 New Zealand citizens who have made Australia their home. We all contribute to the Australian economy and social fabric. Many of us will be okay for a while, but some of us need help right away.

Our home is here, our families are here, and we want to stay here. Many of us cannot simply uproot our lives here and head back to NZ. We have families, we are part of our communities.

Australians who are in New Zealand for more than 30 days and intend to make New Zealand their permanent home can access full support from the Ministry of Social Development. Up until 2001, it was the same here for Kiwis. 

We are all in this together and need to muster our ANZAC spirit as we have also done so many times in the past. Please, sign and share this petition and show Kiwis in Australia some support during this crisis.

The following is an open letter to the Minister in charge. 

To The Honourable Stuart Robert MP,  the Minister for Government Services.

and

The Senator Honourable Anne Ruston, the Minister for Families and Social Services

As the Ministers in charge of Social Services, please allow New Zealand citizens who live and work in Australia to access the full Centrelink support safety net especially during COVID-19 outbreak.

The New Zealand government already offers access to the full social welfare safety net that Work and Income offer after only living in New Zealand for 30 days if they provide evidence that they intend to live and work in New Zealand going forward.

Please reinstate the reciprocal agreement that we used to have at the very least during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Many of us choose Australia as our home and have worked here for years paying full tax and making contributions for this safety net despite not being allowed to have any or only limited access to it. 

This outbreak has turned the world upside down and it’s simply not practical for many of us to simply pack up and go back to New Zealand because our homes and families are now here in Australia.

All we are asking for is the right to access the safety net that we already contribute to with the taxes we pay here, like every other Australian. Now more then ever we are vulnerable from the situation that is 100% out of our control - please show some compassion and unlock Centrelink for New Zealand citizens.