The government must explain how it intends to assist emergency food relief providers who are doing their best to meet huge demand ahead of looming JobKeeper and JobSeeker wind backs.
Labor Leader, Rebecca White, said concerns about food relief predate the pandemic and the government must act urgently to ensure Tasmanians don’t go hungry.
“The government does not have a plan in place to ensure essential services like emergency food relief can cope with an expected spike in demand when the JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes are wound back next week,” Ms White said.
“For too long Tasmanian food relief services have been over-extended and Peter Gutwein’s failure to act now risks pushing these services to the brink.”
Labor Member for Franklin, Alison Standen, said the Clarendon Vale Neighbourhood House has raised concerns it will not be able to cope following the wind back of JobKeeper and JobSeeker at the end of month.
“The Clarendon Vale Neighbourhood House is already under enormous pressure, providing 300 or more meals a week to Tasmanians in need,” Ms Standen said.
“It is just one of many relief providers that has been stretched to support more people during pandemic, including many new clients.
“When the JobSeeker and JobKeeper schemes are wound back, food relief providers are expecting to get all their old clients back in addition to those who have been new through the doors during COVID.
“Food security is a basic human right – no Tasmanian should be without reliable access to affordable, nutritious food.
“Labor’s COVID-19 Recovery Package sets out a plan to get Tasmanians back into jobs, support those hardest hit by COVID and build a better, fairer Tasmania.”
Labor Member for Franklin