Today in parliament the Liberal Government revealed it has no plan to provide immediate support to overstretched emergency food relief organisations and is willing to see Tasmanians go hungry.
Labor Member for Franklin, Alison Standen, said the government is turning its back on Tasmanians who have been hardest hit by COVID-19.
“The demand for emergency food relief statewide during COVID has doubled for Foodbank Tasmania and increased by 70% for Loaves & Fishes,” Ms Standen said.
“Food relief agencies report that short-term government stimulus funding has run out, and they are dipping into reserves and relying on donations and volunteer support to continue their operations as best they can.
“Right now there is no certainty about ongoing funding for frontline services providing food relief, and it’s not fair to expect them to keep drawing on sthe goodwill of volunteers and donations for months until Budget funds are unlocked.
“In many communities, there are people asking for support who have never sought help before – and with the Liberal Government cuts to JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments just days away, the sector expects that demand is only going to escalate again with increased pressure on household budgets.
“By failing to provide additional support to food relief organisations, the government is pushing into further hardship Tasmanians who have been hardest hit by COVID.
“Yet today in parliament Jeremy Rockcliff revealed he has his head in the sand and believes that the job is done. The Minister has no plan to provide immediate support to overstretched emergency food relief organisations and instead pointed to a host of bandaid solutions.
“It is incomprehensible that the government expects emergency food relief providers to wait until the November Budget before they receive assistance.
“If Mr Rockliff was listening to emergency food relief providers he would know the government’s job is far from over and that he must act immediately to deliver them the support they need to help Tasmanians put food on the table.”
Alison Standen MP
Labor Member for Franklin