31 March 2020

The racist aspect of Australia’s coronavirus response — beginning with Peter Dutton quarantining Chinese-Australians on Christmas Island, before personally bringing coronavirus with him from America, and likely spreading it at a Liberal fundraising event — has reached a new and dangerous level. Caving to union pressure for a wage subsidy to protect jobs, the Government has excluded all temporary visa-holders (other than Kiwis) from support. They are also excluded from welfare payments, and are trapped here due to travel restrictions. Matt Kunkel of the Victorian Migrant Workers Centre says, “In the past few days, we’ve heard from nearly 1500 workers who’ve lived in Australia for years, have family here, pay tax here — who now have nowhere to turn. Scott Morrison is creating an underclass of workers during a global pandemic, who will be left without a roof over their heads and limited access to healthcare. This spells disaster as we face the worst of COVID-19.”