State funds for Australian temporary visa holders with financial hardship

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There are 2.17 million people presently in Australia on a temporary visa. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many of these people are stuck in Australia, unable to find or afford flights home, and facing severe financial hardship. Many of these people have been in Australia for years paying taxes, building a home for themselves in Australia, and contributing to our community and society in critical jobs including doctors, nurses, IT professionals, engineers, hospitality workers, medical staffers and more.

We can and must do better than to tell these people and their families to "go home" if they find themselves in financial hardship. We have a moral duty as a society  not to abandon members of our community simply because they, through no fault of their own, find themselves in temporary financial strife due to a pandemic that no one could have predicted. 

We urge the Premiers of NSW (Gladys Berejiklian), Queensland (Annastacia Palaszczuk), Victoria (Daniel Andrews), South Australia (Steven Marshall) and Western Australia (Mark McGowan) as well as the Chief Ministers of the ACT (Andrew Barr) and Northen Territory (Michael Gunner) to follow the brave lead of the Tasmania Premier Mr Peter Gutwein and establish a fund to make available short term financial grants to individuals and families who hold temporary visas and provide evidence they are in financial hardship.

The Australian way is "a fair go", not "go home." We urge the Australian states to provide modest financial assistance for temporary visa holders who demonstrate they are in financial hardship.