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Premier Must Advocate for Casuals and Temporary Visa Holder Support

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 2 April 2020

Tags: COVID-19, Employment

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

The Federal Government’s JobKeeper payment is welcome, but many casual workers and temporary visa holders in Tasmania are still at risk of being left destitute and at risk during a pandemic.

In today’s morning briefing, the Premier said National Cabinet is continuing to discuss the parameters of the JobKeeper payment.

We strongly urge Premier Gutwein to use his seat and strong voice at the table to push for expanding the package to include casual workers and temporary visa holders.

Casuals and temporary visa holders play significant roles in Tasmania’s social fabric, economic development and prosperity.

Those workers will continue to do so on the other side of this crisis. In the meantime, we need to make sure we treat them as our own.

For a casual worker who changed jobs 11 months ago to now be penalised for doing so is unjust. These are often people who work in tourism or hospitality or the primary industries sector – many of whom have lost their jobs over the past few weeks.

Many temporary visa holders have been contributing to our community for years. To be cast aside as a pandemic sweeps the globe and the economy collapse is unfair and untenable.

Current rules surrounding the JobKeeper payment will arbitrarily mean many miss out.

The Premier needs to do everything he can to persuade the National Cabinet to expand the payment to all casual employees, and to include temporary visa holders.

This is the right thing to do on compassionate and public health grounds.