The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) has called on politicians to reject a bill, which would see waiting periods extended for newly arrived migrants accessing social welfare supports, including the Family Tax Benefit.

Due to be voted on in the Senate shortly, according to FECCA chairperson Mary Patetsos, if the Bill is passed, it will inflict “unnecessary hardship” on already vulnerable people.

“Earlier this (last) week FECCA accepted amendments to the Bill on the understanding that there was not enough support in the Senate to defeat it. FECCA now believes that – combined with the votes of Labor Senators and Australian Greens Senators – there are sufficient Cross-bench Senators prepared to vote against this legislation,” Ms Patetsos said.

The Federation maintains that the Parliament should consider that the inherent risks, while mitigated by the Opposition amendments, continue to impose a burden on vulnerable people.