Morrison can't ignore $10.7 billion

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It's the story about international students that Scott Morrison does care about.

Splashed across headlines all week, a new report shows international students are no longer choosing to study in Australia, projecting a loss of $10.7 billion annually for communities, small businesses, and the economy.1

It's news that is sure to have gotten Prime Minister Scott Morrison's attention and — and it's our chance to force him to face the crisis he has pushed international students into.

Since coronavirus hit, the Morrison Government has blocked 2 million people on temporary visas – including international students – from support like JobKeeper and JobSeeker. And despite people being forced into homelessness and hunger, Morrison hasn't budged.2

But with major news outlets reporting on the economic losses, we have an opportunity to show Morrison that not only is his inaction cruel and inhumane, but with more and more students no longer seeing Australia as a desirable destination,3 it's bad for business too – and that's a problem he's sure to pay attention to.

We've identified Cabinet Ministers with relevant portfolios who are likely to feel the heat for Morrison's mistreatment of international students. Together, we can help build pressure for Morrison to grant payments to all through this pandemic.

Can you contact our Cabinet Ministers and demand they pressure Morrison to grant support to international students and people on temporary visas?

Email a Minister!



Without Federal government support through coronavirus, international students have been pushed to the brink. 1 in 7 have been left homeless, and 1 in 3 are unable to afford food or meet their basic needs.4 Many are now relying on overstretched charities, lining around the block to get their next meal.5,6

More and more international students have been speaking out against this unfair treatment, describing their experiences as, "hopeless, lonely, wronged and without any support" and being treated as "consumable" by the Australian Government.7

And while Morrison may be comfortable ignoring the suffering of communities, report figures estimating the enormous loss the Government stands to make due to international students choosing other countries, is sure to grab his attention. The report even recommended "implementing policies that minimise the losses experienced by international students [as] an important component of the coronavirus response."9

Given Morrison's track record of putting profits before people, reports of these economic losses gives us the opportunity to put the welfare of our friends, neighbours and colleagues on visas firmly back on the agenda.

Can you ask our Cabinet Ministers to pressure Morrison to extend support to international students and people on temporary visas?

International students invest so much to build their lives and futures in this country. The government cannot simply treat them like cash cows, and then block them from support during a pandemic.

Right now, we have the power to make our voices heard and demand that Cabinet Ministers take action to support international students. If we can build pressure among Morrison's most trusted ministers, we have a better chance of forcing his hand.

Morrison should be supporting everyone through coronavirus, irrespective of visa status. Together, we'll make sure that he can no longer ignore people who contribute so much to our communities.

Contact our Cabinet Ministers now and demand they ask Morrison to grant support to international students and people on temporary visas.

In solidarity and determination,

Anisha, Naz and Tessa for the GetUp team

References
[1] Coronavirus and students, Mitchell Institute & Victoria University, 2020
[2] As If We Weren't Humans: The abandonment of temporary migrants in Australia during COVID-19, Migrant Worker Justice Initiative, UTS & UNSW, 2020
[3] 'I will never come to Australia again': new research reveals the suffering of temporary migrants during the COVID-19 crisis, The Conversation, 17 August 2020
[4] As If We Weren't Humans: The abandonment of temporary migrants in Australia during COVID-19, Migrant Worker Justice Initiative, UTS & UNSW, 2020
[5] Days without food, no family support: The reality for Australia's international students, SBS, 2 November 2020
[6] Thousands of international students lining up for food vouchers could just be the 'tip of the iceberg', SBS, 2 June 2020
[7] 'I will never come to Australia again': new research reveals the suffering of temporary migrants during the COVID-19 crisis, The Conversation, 17 August 2020
[8,9] Coronavirus and students, Mitchell Institute & Victoria University, 2020
 
Australian Government Education & Schools Political University & TAFE
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