Leaders of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) and a representative of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia met with Acting Federal Minister of Immigration Alan Tudge to discuss issues facing Greek citizens on temporary visas in Australia in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

The president of GCM, Bill Papatergiadis, the GCM General Secretary, Costas Markos and Fr Christophoros met with the minister on Monday, 6 April, to discuss changes to temporary visa regulations.

The community members told the minister that members of the community were confused by the proposed  changes and suggested that the government fund a hotline for the Greek community that would provide effective and efficient information on all government policies.

The minister said that he would consider the proposal. Mr Tudge said that he was still considering the government’s position on student visas and that he would make an announcement on the matter in the near future.

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The key points discussed at the meeting were whether:

♦ All people in Australia on a temporary basis will be allowed to access their superannuation;

♦ People on bridging visas will have the opportunity to work in the agricultural sector which desperately needs workers;

♦ The visas of skilled workers who have been “stood down” (not dismissed or terminated) will still be valid and will they be able to access their superannuation; and

♦ The government will focus on increasing the number of translations to other languages to get its message across.

The participants agreed that this should be the first of a number of meetings.

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