Government

SA government announces support package for new arrivals fleeing international conflict

The Government will provide support for new arrivals to South Australia fleeing the Israel-Hamas and Ukraine
conflict.

Image: Little Amal

The South Australian Government is set to provide support for new arrivals to the state fleeing the Israel-Hamas conflict. The same assistance will also be available to any new arrivals fleeing the Ukraine conflict.

Premier Peter Malinauskas unveiled the support package at the Adelaide Festival’s Australian premiere of Little Amal, an internationally significant artwork which has become a symbol of human rights. Since 2021, the 3.5-metre-tall puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl has travelled the world, drawing attention to the significant numbers of children fleeing war, violence and persecution.

The new comprehensive package will support families with needs in education, health and medical care, transport, food vouchers and other essentials.

“As the grandson of Lithuanian and Hungarian refugees, I appreciate how life changing it can be when Australia opens its heart to people coming to our nation seeking safety and opportunity,” Premier Peter Malinauskas says.

“So much of our national identity has been borne of providing safe harbour to those fleeing violence in search of a better life. I’m proud to lead a Government which stepped in to support Ukrainians who found a new home here when Putin’s forces invaded their homeland.

“I’m equally proud now to be putting supports in place to support those fleeing violence in the Middle East.”

Most people fleeing the Israel-Hamas and Ukrainian conflicts initially arrive on a visa that does not allow them work rights, access to Medicare, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidised medicines, settlement services or other basic Commonwealth safety nets.

To support those families, the South Australian Government will provide:

  • A waiver of international student fees for school-age children in government schools;
  • Assistance to access the School Card Scheme, which provides eligible families in government schools with financial help with other school fees (materials and services charges);
  • Support via the SA Housing Authority for families to access private rental homes through an assistance scheme covering bond and early rental payments;
  • A waiver of public hospital costs that would usually apply to Medicare-ineligible patients for those who are awaiting transfer to a temporary humanitarian visa and need hospital care;
  • Support through the Refugee Health Service – a statewide primary health care service for newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Once-off dedicated mental health funding to support mental health issues arising from the current conflict;
  • Assistance to access disability supports for visa holders ineligible to access therapy and equipment through the NDIS;
  • Access to dental care via the SA Dental Service, including free care for children under the age of 5 or in receipt of a school card;
  • Free metrocards: Each family will receive 2 x Concession metroCARDs loaded with $40 credit and 2 x student metroCARD loaded with $20 credit. All children under 5 always travel for free.
  • $100 Foodland food vouchers funded by the State Government to redeem at Foodland;
  • $280 vouchers for charity Treasure Boxes SA, funded by the State Government, enabling families to order from a list of essentials for babies and children;
  • Family passes to Cleland Wildlife Park.
  • Information about the State Library of SA, SA Museum and Art Gallery of SA.

      It is envisaged the support package will apply until those new arrivals are able to access standard visa pathways which provide full work rights.

      “The Australian Islamic Medical Association (AIMA) South Australia have been in contact with the Premier and the Minister of Health Being office advocating urgent access to health care services for Gazans fleeing the conflict,” Dr Noor Suhana Mohd (Australian Islamic Medical Association (AIMA) General Secretary, South Australia) says.

      “We believe immediate health triage should assess for acute physical health issues and acute mental health issues. Children and adults alike most likely will be suffering for acute malnutrition due to months of famine.

      “In order for medical practitioners to be able to assess and provide the much-needed care, access to health care services that are announced today are much welcomed.”

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