Vic refugee advocates protest crackdown

Refugees and their supporters have rallied in Melbourne against the federal government’s decision to strip asylum seekers in Australia of income support.

The Turnbull government announced on Monday it had cancelled $200-a-fortnight payments to 100 asylum seekers and given them three weeks to move out of public housing after being moved onto a final departure bridging visa.

Treasurer Scott Morrison this week said the measure targeted people who had “gamed the system” to get to Australia including those who came from offshore detention centres for medical treatment.

Asylum seeker Ali-Hasan Qanandri says he has only had one month of freedom on a six-month bridging visa after spending more than four years in detention on Manus Island.

Having worked at a shoe company and as a farmer back home in Afghanistan, he was looking forward to finally enjoying a new life in Australia after being treated for a heart disorder.

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