Local Government Mayoral Taskforce Supporting People Seeking Asylum
Changes by the Federal Government to the SRSS (Status Resolution Support Services) program are concerning many Councils as it will cut all income and case management support of many people seeking asylum and dramatically increase the demand for material aid resources at the local municipality level. This action will likely leave many people destitute and requests for places to live, money for clothes, food and medicine, will only escalate and there will likely be an impact on social cohesion. Within Victoria alone, the number at risk from these changes is 5,863.
Following the SRSS Mayoral Roundtable held in Dandenong on Tuesday 31 July to discuss joint advocacy against these changes as well as practical responses a group of Victorian Councils has now formed the Local Government Mayoral Taskforce Supporting People Seeking Asylum. The Taskforce is chaired by the City of Greater Dandenong Mayor, Cr Roz Blades AM.
Coordination of joint state-wide advocacy by Councils and sharing resources and practical responses by communities to the issues caused by the SRSS cuts.
The following Councils are part of the Local Government Mayoral Taskforce Supporting People Seeking Asylum:
Councils involved as Executive Members
Executive Members meet monthly and act as a steering group for the Taskforce.
Councils involved as General Members
General Members get consulted on Taskforce direction, take an active role in Taskforce activities and contribute resources to the Taskforce.
Council involved as Supporters
Supporter Councils are informed on Taskforce direction, and receive material to use to promote the Back Your Neighbor Campaign.
Back Your Neighbour Campaign
The Back Your Neighbour Campaign, which was launched on 3 December 2018, has seen 22 Councils band together to ensure people who have fled persecution do not end up suffering homelessness or destitution as a result of the Federal Government cuts. This campaign symbolises a unified approach with Councils from NSW and Victoria involved together with community ambassadors and advocates to have financial and support services reinstated for asylum seekers.
The objectives of the Back Your Neighbour campaign are:
If your Council are interested in joining the Taskforce, or just want further information please contact Peter Johnstone, Coordinator, Community Development, City of Greater Dandenong at firstname.lastname@example.org.