Please sign the petition
New South Wales Premier
Dear Premier Berejiklian:
We’re writing in behalf of international students and other temporary visa holders in NSW whom we have engaged with in Damayan Migrante. Also attached to this email are the letters from some of the international students themselves who seek to share their stories with you.
Damayan Migrante is a response of Migrante New South Wales to how COVID-19 crisis has affected the temporary visa holders especially the international students. While this crisis has adversely affected all sectors in society, this demographic suffers the brunt of the government’s restrictions directly affecting the service and hospitality industries where majority of them are casually employed.
NSW hosts the biggest number of international students in Australia, and we believe you will agree with us that their contributions to the state have been invaluable. These contributions range from economic to cultural, they are an intrinsic part of NSW community. They are in aged care and disability facilities, restaurants, cafes, maintenance and cleaning services. As you will agree, these are essential services which are filled up by the temporary visa holders. Furthermore, international education as we already know is the fourth largest export of Australia and NSW receives the biggest slice of the revenues. Statistics show that NSW universities and colleges earn some $14 billion annually.
Now that they find themselves in dire straits through no fault of their own, we are disappointed over the willful inaction of the state government of NSW mirroring the attitude of the federal government.
However, we are still hopeful that NSW will join the efforts of the other states and territories in offering assistance packages to demonstrate their duty of care to the vulnerable members of our society. It is high time for NSW to deliver as mass organisations’ efforts such as Damayan Migrante have been fulfilling the responsibilities of the government in providing support and mutual aid.
We join our counterparts across various communities in NSW in calling for immediate assistance to all temporary visa holders.
The NSW government has already lost valuable time in coming to their aid and as the other states and territories have shown, you cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the evident need to act. This is an unprecedented crisis and no one should be left behind on the basis of their visa status.
We look to your leadership to steer the NSW community to respond to COVID-19 crisis as “we are in this together.”
In the service of our communities,
Ej dela Cruz
Damayan Migrante Coordinator
MIGRANTE NSW Public Information Officer