Support for visa workers in Tasmania affected by COVID-19 has been too slow in coming, despite a commitment from the state government to step in.
Labor Leader Rebecca White said Peter Gutwein made a commitment in April to provide support for visa workers, but has failed to deliver what he promised.
“Visa workers were overlooked by the Federal Government’s JobKeeper scheme, despite repeated calls for it to be extended.
“Too many people have been overlooked and are in financial hardship. These are people who have worked, paid taxes and are members of our community.
“The Premier’s commitment to step in was welcome, but visa workers and their employers have not realised the benefits promised.
“Peter Gutwein undertook to work with industry sectors that rely on skilled visa workers, to make sure specialist skills are not lost.
“To date, no industry sectors or employers have received this direct support.
“Things have gotten so bad that in some workplaces people are crowdfunding to support their co-workers who are struggling to survive.
“While a one-off payment provided welcome relief to visa workers, it’s no substitute for ongoing income.
“When asked to provide an update in State Parliament today, Peter Gutwein said something will be ‘announced shortly’.
“Telling people to ‘watch this space’ provides no comfort to visa workers who are struggling right now to pay rent and put food on the table.
“I urge the Premier to make good on his commitment and to waste no more time doing so.”
Rebecca White MP