Thirty-eight Mayors back calls to extend support to people seeking asy

Published on 17 July 2020

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A coalition of Mayors from around Australia have signed onto an open letter, calling on the Federal Government to extend crucial supports to people seeking asylum affected by COVID-19.

The open letter, which has thirty-eight signatories from across the country, outlines key concerns for people seeking asylum who have lost work as a result of COVID-19 and remain ineligible for income support programs and – in some instances – Medicare.  

Many of the areas represented in the open letter are home to large populations of people seeking asylum, and local governments are seeing the full impact of the lack of support being offered by the Federal government.   

The open letter comes as a coalition of educators have recently called on the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston to extend the JobSeeker scheme to people seeking asylum over concerns of their students becoming destitute. 

Many local councils are concerned for the growing demand for emergency relief in their communities, and in particular, are concerned what will happen when the eviction moratorium is lifted come September.  

The group of Mayors are calling on the Federal government to extend the commendable programs it has in place to those who are struggling at this time.   

The full letter and list of signatories can be found here(PDF, 88KB) .  

Message from the Mayor, Cr Sarah Carter

People from all around the world now call Maribyrnong home, and we want to make sure that everyone feels a sense of belonging and is given the opportunity to thrive. We are proud of our diversity and we truly value diversity as a source of creativity and innovation.  

Our community has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly our refugee community who are ineligible for income support. So we are calling on the Federal Government to ensure that people with refugee status are considered in COVID-19 policies and stimulus packages.  

Signatories of the Open Letter:

  • Mayor Cr Khal Asfour, City of Canterbury-Bankstown, NSW
  • Mayor Darcy Byrne, Inner West Council, NSW
  • Mayor Cr Samantha Byrne, Moonee Valley City Council, VIC
  • President Barry Calvert, Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, NSW
  • Mayor Cr Barry Calvert, Hawkesbury City Council, NSW
  • Lord Mayor Sally Capp, City of Melbourne, VIC
  • Mayor Cr Lara Carli, Melton City Council, VIC
  • Mayor Sarah Carter, Maribyrnong City Council, VIC
  • Mayor Cr Alison Champion, Banyule City Council, VIC
  • Mayor Emma Cole, City of Vincent, WA
  • Mayor Cr Misha Coleman, City of Yarra, VIC
  • Mayor Cr Ross Ebbels, Borough of Queenscliffe, VIC
  • Mayor Cr Colleen Gates, Hobsons Bay City Council, VIC
  • Mayor Cr Josh Gilligan, Wyndham City Council, VIC
  • Mayor Cr Mark Greenhill, Blue Mountains City Council, NSW
  • Mayor Cr Sam Hearn, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, VIC
  • Mayor Heather Holmes-Ross, City of Mitcham, WA
  • Mayor Cr Stuart James, City of Monash, VIC
  • Mayor Licia Kokocinski, Hepburn Shire Council, VIC
  • Mayor Jerome Laxale, City of Ryde, NSW
  • Mayor Cr Paula Masselos, Waverley Council, NSW
  • Mayor Cr Paul Maytom, Leeton Shire Council, NSW
  • Mayor Cr Jim Memeti, City of Greater Dandenong, VIC
  • Mayor Cr Carly Moore, Hume City Council, VIC
  • Mayor David O'Loughlin, City of Prospect, SA
  • Mayor Cr Georgina Papafotiou, Brimbank City Council, VIC
  • Mayor Cr Susan Rennie, City of Darebin, VIC
  • Lord Mayor Cr Anna Reynolds, City of Hobart, TAS
  • President Coral Ross, Municipal Association of Victoria, VIC
  • Mayor Cr Danny Said, Randwick City Council, NSW
  • President Linda Scott, Local Government NSW, NSW
  • Deputy Lord Mayor Jess Scully, City of Sydney, NSW
  • Mayor Cr Jeff Springfield, Cardinia Shire Council, VIC
  • Mayor Cr Lambros Tapinos, Moreland City Council, VIC
  • Mayor Bernadene Voss, City of Port Phillip, VIC
  • Mayor Wendy Waller, Liverpool City Council, NSW
  • Administrator Lydia Wilson, Whittlesea City Council, VIC