Private government-contracted firms servicing asylum seekers are operating below standard, leaving small non-government organisations to pick up the slack. Asylum seekers are sleeping on floors in overcrowded houses, have untreated medical conditions and limited access to medical care and cannot afford nutritious food due to expensive housing costs.
Case workers from these private providers are often negligent with many instances of misplaced files, including urgent medical and immigration documents, and other files sitting inactive for many months without being transferred to the appropriate department.
RISE is concerned that case-workers from these private providers are inadequately trained and are not offering important services such as resume and job search assistance for people who need to work in order to support themselves. These organisations, when working with recent arrivals with no money and no familiarity with the Australian system, have not provided assistance with accessing reduced-cost services, such as concession transportation and pro-bono legal advice. These well-equipped and government contracted agencies often refer asylum seekers to small non-government organisations with very limited funding, such as RISE, for these services.
This is another manifestation of the Australian government continuing its misplaced, expensive and antagonistic funding in policy that punishes and alienates refugees and asylum seekers.