Couple of Kangaroos
 

The Australian Government is currently stopping its own citizens from returning home

In July 2020, the Australian Government introduced "international passenger arrival caps". With these caps, Australia essentially blocked its own citizens and residents from entering the country. This has left thousands of Australians - currently there are an estimated 80 to 100 thousand Australians - stranded overseas. [1][2]


There are families who are facing homelessness with no social security abroad and no help from the Australian Government. There are pregnant women who are facing giving birth in foreign countries because they can’t get back in. There are Aussies who are being threatened with deportation but have nowhere to be deported to. There are single parents who took the gut-wrenching decision to temporarily leave the country and their children in order to be with dying relatives and are now stranded since months.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has claimed many of the Australians overseas should have returned earlier and now have no one but themselves to blame. [3] But this is simply not true. Firstly, Australians overseas long-term were told to „remain where you are“ by the Australian Government back in March, only to then become stranded. [4][5] Secondly, many Australians did try to come back immediately but became trapped for months by lockdowns and closed airports in their countries. [6] Thirdly, some Australians have been given exemptions to travel overseas to visit dying relatives, only to not be allowed back in. And fourthly, packing up lives, quitting jobs, ending mortgages and finishing school terms simply takes time. As more and more people pack up their lives overseas and begin to want to come back, this problem is only going to get worse.


It is possible for the Government to safely and effectively expand hotel quarantine in order to allow Australians to return home. The hotel and airline industries have each written the Government, pleading with them to increase quarantine facilities in order to boost their ailing industries. [7] But the Government refuses to do so. 


No other democracy in the world has denied entry to its own citizens. Our neighbour, New Zealand, effectively expanded hotel quarantine back in July and continues to allow all of its citizens and residents to enter, whilst keeping the virus out. [8] This is not a logistical issue. It is a lack of political will that is preventing stranded Australians from returning home.


We must therefore stand up for the rights of our fellow Australians and call on the Government to let them return home. Denying our own citizens the right to entry sets a dangerous precedent for all of us. If the Government can ignore the rights of these Australians overseas, they can ignore the rights of any of us!


We are therefore calling on the Australian Government to immediately "remove the caps" and allow all Australians to return home!