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NSW Labor leaves refugees and asylum seekers in the lurch

The Coalition is calling on the NSW Labor Government to urgently extend funding support to the 15 Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) who provide much-needed support for refugees and asylum seekers across NSW.

The Multicultural NSW Emergency Relief Support Grants, first administered in 2021 under the former NSW Liberal and Nationals Government provides an essential lifeline to frontline organisations who support new refugees and asylum seekers in NSW. The emergency funding is set to expire on June 30 2023.

Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism, Mark Coure, has been calling on the NSW Labor Government to urgently extend this funding to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom are in vulnerable situations, continue to receive the help they need.

“Late last year during our time in Government the Coalition provided an extension of $3.65 million to cover the operations of these 15 NGOs, ensuring that those suffering from homelessness, food insecurity and mental health issues were well supported.” Mr Coure said.

“I have met with a number of these organisations who have stressed to me how important it is that the NSW Labor Government extends this funding again, to cover the gap created by the Federal Government’s absence of responsibility on this issue.”

“Refugees and asylum seekers in NSW simply cannot wait for Labor’s endless expenditure reviews, they need support now, not in three or four months’ time when Labor finally delivers their delayed budget.”

Mr Coure has written to Minister for Multiculturalism, Steven Kamper, Treasurer, Daniel Mookhey and Federal Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Giles imploring them to support our most vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers.

“New refugees and asylum seekers have relied on this funding to help support them during one of the most difficult periods of their lives, they need this funding to ensure they have a roof over their head, food in their stomachs and the ability to find secure and stable employment.” Mr Coure said.

“It is time now that the NSW Labor Government steps up and provides this funding.”