The state government from today will be rolling out a package of up to $3 million to support temporary visa holders in Tasmania.
Premier Peter Gutwein announced the four-part package on Wednesday.
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Mr Gutwein said there were 26,000 temporary visa holders in Tasmania, many of whom had lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place and who were unable to seek financial assistance through the federal government's JobSeeker or JobKeeper packages.
He said many of these people were students, fruit-pickers and skilled hospitality workers.
Mr Gutwein said he did not agree with the message that temporary visa holders should simply go home.
"Many of these visa holders cannot return to their home countries because of border closures. To Italy, to Spain, to New York, to the United Kingdom," he said.
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Mr Gutwein said the four-part package would include extended eligibility for the Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants, which provide $250 for individuals and $1000 for families, and an increase in funding to non-government organisations who provide emergency relief and assistance to this cohort.
"For those that can return, the third part of that [package] is we will work with them to give them travel advice but also if necessary provide some financial support to help them get home," he said.
"Fourthly, we will work with industry sectors or employers who want to retain their employees because of their specialist skills in the state to, when their business is able to start up again in coming months, ensure we have those skills that we need."
Mr Gutwein said he wanted to remind people temporary visa holders had helped build a stronger, more diverse and skilled Tasmania.
"They are a part of our community. This is a time for kindness," he said.
"There is no room, no room, in Tasmania for racism and abuse.
"When I was working through this package ... and thinking about some of the challenges our temporary visa holders face at the moment, I spared a thought [for] if my children at the moment were in a country on the other side of the world and one, either they couldn't get home, or two, they were in a position with no financial support - I think it's only fair and reasonable, that for those who contributed to our society, we provide some support in their hour of need."
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