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WHEN: Midday TODAY, Thursday 20 August.

WHERE: A live broadcast of the public hearing is available here.

WHAT: Hospitality workers tell the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 that now is not the time to scale back income support for those who are already struggling. Now is the time to extend this support for all casuals, temporary visa workers and international students – workers who have been left behind with no support during this health pandemic.

WHO: United Workers Union members Josephine Annink, Chris Ball and Adam Quill will be sharing their stories of working in the precarious hospitality industry during COVID-19 and the important lifeline JobKeeper has been.

Hospitality workers have appealed to the Senate Select Committee and the Federal Government to not scale back the JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs thousands of workers are relying on, but instead, extend it to those who have been left behind – casuals working less than 12 months, temporary visa workers and international students.

We know the JobKeeper scheme has been flawed, but it has been a necessary lifeline for so many workers doing it tough during this crisis – particularly in hospitality.

Josephine Annink, who works at Crown Casino Melbourne, said: “Even with the JobKeeper scheme I have been forced to drain my super to keep food on the table and a roof over my head. Now as each of us tries our best to wade through the second wave, we’re asking you to please don’t pull this pillar of support out from underneath us.”

Adam Quill, who works at the Panthers Club in Port Macquarie, said: “There is heightened tension in the tourism industry that we have been facing each day as we continue to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions and face down a second wave. We’re at a crossroads in this crisis and now is not the time to be scaling back income support for those of us who are already struggling.”

Workers cannot afford to be left in the lurch with a reduced rate and even harsher eligibility come October. It will cost jobs, livelihoods and destroy communities.

The full program for the hearing is here.