Australian Embassy urges Nepali students to explore additional govt support
KATHMANDU: The Australian Embassy in Nepal has advised Nepali students in Australia to reach out for a range of additional support offered by the Australian Government to international students in the wake of COVID-19 crisis.
A majority of international students are in a dilemma whether to stay back in Australia or leave the country after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison advised temporary visa holders including students, who are unable to support themselves during the pandemic, to return to their native countries.
The diplomatic mission in Kathmandu said, the Australian Government acknowledges that COVID-19 is affecting international students in Australia and a range of additional support is available at these difficult times.
Ambassador Pete Budd said that the Australian Government has already temporarily relaxed the enforcement of 40-hour work limitation for some critical sectors. International students working in aged care and as nurses are able to work more than the 40-hour-a-fortnight usually allowed.
Likewise, international students working in major supermarkets can help stock the shelves due to high demand, according to Ambassador Budd.
He also encouraged international students on a temporary student visa to contact their Overseas Student Health Cover insurance provider for advice on health coverage and services available to support them while in Australia.
More importantly, he stressed the Prime Minister's announcement that states and territories will put a six-month ban on eviction for both residential and commercial tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Ambassador Budd, international students can get more information from following web portals in Australia:
WA: Western Australia Consumer Protection - www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/
Victoria: Consumer Affairs Victoria - www.consumer.vic.gov.au/
NSW: Fair Trading - www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/
Queensland: Residential tenancies Authority - www.rta.qld.gov.au/
SA: South Australia Consumer and Business Services – www.cbs.sa.gov.au
Tasmania: Consumer, Building and Occupation Services - www.cbos.tas.gov.au
ACT: Tenants Union ACT - www.tenantsact.org.au/
NT: Northern Territory Consumer Affairs – www.consumeraffairs.nt.gov.au
Further information is available on the Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs website www.covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/ or by calling their Global Service Centre at 131 881.
Additionally, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s COVID-19 website provides further information on mental health and other support services available to international students www.dese.gov.au/news/coronavirus-covid-19.
Study In Australia’s website www.studyinaustralia.gov.au provides more information on support services available to international students, informed the envoy.
The Australian Ambassador to Nepal stated, more than 570,000 international students including 50,000 plus Nepalis are our friends, colleagues, members of our community, and the government is committed to helping them in these difficult hours.