A frightening future for people seeking asylum in NSW

When government funding ends on 30 June, the only thing standing between people seeking asylum and poverty and homelessness is your support. June 22, 2023

On 30 June, the Asylum Seekers Centre and 14 other organisations will lose access to life-saving NSW Government funding made available since 2020 to support people seeking asylum.

These Emergency Relief Support Grants allowed the ASC to support more than 2000 people in the last year with rent assistance, crisis support, food, medical, utility bills and more.

What began as Covid-19 support when people seeking asylum were left out of the Federal Government pandemic safety net, has continued to play a vital role in supporting people who are suffering from the rise in cost of living and rental crisis.

When this funding ends next week, the only thing standing between people seeking asylum and homelessness and poverty will be the donations and philanthropic support that organisations such as the ASC rely upon.

Organisations that support people seeking asylum and refugees in Sydney are calling on the newly elected Labor Government to extend this grant program in recognition of the extreme hardship of the whole community, especially those people without any welfare safety net.

You can play your part by writing to:

The Hon. Daniel Mookhey, MLC
The Treasurer
52 Martin Place
Sydney NSW 2000


The Hon. Stephen Kamper MP
Minister for Multiculturalism
GPO Box 5341
Sydney NSW 2001

Share your views that people seeking asylum should be supported in our community, regardless of their visa status, to prevent them becoming homeless and destitute. The name of the program that is ending is the ‘Emergency Relief Support Grant’. Continuation of this program would enable organisations like the Asylum Seekers Centre to support thousands of people.

People seeking asylum, many who have been waiting years for their claims to be processed by the Federal Government, are our workmates, neighbours and students in schools all over Sydney. Of the people the ASC supported through the program, approximately one third were children under 18.

The Federal Government also has a role to play in providing support for people while they wait for our immigration system to provide them a fair process. However, the only support is called the Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS) Program administered by the Department of Home Affairs, with payments capped at 89% of the JobSeeker rate. Significant cuts by the previous Federal Coalition Government have seen funding reduced by 95% since 2015, and the eligibility criteria has become so narrow that it is almost impossible for people to access support.

We must not as a society let people needing a safe place to make a home in Australia fall through the cracks between two levels of government. Until the Federal Government can provide a fair and equitable system that supports people seeking asylum while they are in administrative limbo, the NSW Government must act to support children, women and men living in our Sydney community.

Your tax-deductible donation helps people avoid destitution and homelessness

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