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Concerns for asylum seekers/regugees

 

"It is really hard to get by. Especially the bills, gas, electricity and rents are very expensive." - Respondent comment

"Sometimes kids want something we cannot buy. It’s really upsetting not being able to buy things. My seven year old son doesn’t understand our situation. It breaks my heart to say ‘no’ all the time. My teenage daughter at least understands that we cannot afford to buy things as we don’t have any money." - Respondent comment

Financial support

Asylum seeker/refugee respondents noted that their current level of financial support was not enough for the basic necessities of life e.g. the basic cost of living, housing and medical treatment. Of particular concern is that most asylum seekers with bridging visas receive inadequate or no income support payment and have no rights to work in the community. This will prevent them from making positive contributions to the society. 

Two main themes were evident in the ESIS 2014 and are supported by comments made by participants:

  • The impact of limited income security (asylum seekers are eligible for 89% of Newstart Allowance and have no work rights due to current visa restrictions).
  • Lack of opportunities and ability to integrate into the community due to poor community networks, poor English language skills and lack of resources. 

Asylum seekers and refugee support

"Because of not knowing the language properly, not have a suitable financial situation and not knowing where the places are to find friends, we have limitation to helpful networks." - Respondent comment

"I like to have better connections with Australian community in order to know their language and culture better but sometimes it’s really hard to find somewhere for that." - Respondent comment

Social

An area of significant impact for asylum seekers/refugees was in the area of their social connections, reflecting fewer support networks. They noted that poor English language skills were a hindrance to making connections and being able to get work.