Barred from claiming relief funds from Cyclone Yasi
THE Australian Government has a relief fund for people affected by Cyclone Yasi.
When my partner and I went to apply for this grant I was disgusted to find that this didn’t apply to everyone.
It all depends on if you are Australian or not!
Where and when did it say that the government were going to only offer this grant to certain people affected by Yasi?
My p a r t n e r h a s b e e n working in Australia for over six years paying taxes and has never once been on any form of a benefit yet when we went claim the grant ( I am Australian and he is a Kiwi) he was treated in the most inappropriate manner by Centrelink staff.
They demanded to see his working visa – since when has someone from New Zeal and needed a working visa?
It has always been an a g r e e ment b e t ween t he Australia and the NZ government that people from NZ can come live here, work here and be part of our community.
However if you are a Kiwi and you were affected by Yasi you couldn’t claim the benefit until February 24 and the government only just made that decision. Prior to that people from NZ were not entitled to a cent of the Yasi money unless they had a working visa ( when you go to apply for a visa and you are from NZ you are told you don’t need one and are not required to have one), even though they were affected by the cyclone.
When I asked why this was the case I was told it ‘‘ was not fair that people from other countries should receive the grant when, if we were in their country and the same thing happened, it may not be reciprocated.’’ How disgusting is that? How Australian is that of our government to think that way.
People have had their lives turned upside down by the cyclone, however we worry about where someone is from as to whether they are entitled to receive a payment that was meant f or people ‘ ‘ affected by Yasi.’’ I have friends here from the Philippines who were told because they are on a working visa they are not entitled to any money either despite the fact that they lost their roof, had major d a mage t o t hei r house and no electricity for over six days.
Shame on the Australian government for treating people this way.
I wonder if all of these hardworking people we have living here from other countries on visas, or from New Zealand decided to stop paying taxes . . . what would the government say about that? Totally disappointed in the government of Australia.
JANE, Belgian Gardens.