Joy Burch has announced that asylum seekers in the ACT will be given an ACT Services Access Card, apparently to make accessing services easier:
“We know that unfortunately due to a lack of understanding around their rights, some asylum seekers have had trouble accessing services they are entitled to. This card will reassert their right to those providing the services.”
The Access Card has been developed in consultation with key stakeholders, including the ACT Refugee, Asylum Seeker and Humanitarian Coordination Committee.
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The ACT Government has a longstanding policy that it will strive to provide the same services to asylum seekers as refugees, where appropriate, but feedback from stakeholders suggested this could be facilitated better.
“Holders of the card will be able to use it for a range of ACT Government transport, education, legal and healthcare services. This is an excellent ACT Labor Government initiative and one that will make a tangible difference in the lives of asylum seekers living in our community.”
Can the rest of us have one too?
UPDATE: DHCS have released the above mockup of the card on their information page.
Intriguingly it’s for “Joanne Citizen” which makes one wonder what the big brains involved think citizenship entails.