Australia is about to become a country whose so-called leaders are willing to cut a vital form of assistance that will force people into destitution and see children end up on the street. Minister Dutton and the Prime Minister are about to cut the Status Resolution Support Services, without any legislative redress. All they need is one stroke of their red pens.
Many people currently in Australia waiting for a decision about their visa or protection status are about to lose a tiny amount of financial support, support that is less than Newstart, that allows them to eat, be clothed and be housed while they learn English or look for a job. It is not their fault that their protection status is in limbo. They are waiting on the Minister for Home Affairs's department to do its job.
I have spoken to people who have been waiting nearly a decade for their cases to be finalised. It is not their fault that they cannot find work. Work is hard enough for anyone to find these days. The fault lies with this terrible government.
Let's be clear: the people who rely on SRSS are people who want to make a go of it here. They want to be productive members of our community, they want to be part of the Australian way of life and they want to be good neighbours, to put in and make good. They are exactly the same mould of people who have come through hard times, like so many of us, to find a place of safety. They are tough, brave and resilient, but the Minister wants to break them, demonise them and kick them when they are down, and Australians are not like that. The Australians I know would always give someone a start in the hope they make the most of it.