GOVERNMENT’S ‘FIX’ DOES NOTHING, AS THE NUMBER OF STRANDED AUSTRALIANS GROWS 

14 October 2020

SENATOR PENNY WONG 
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY IN THE SENATE 
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS 
LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA 
 

SENATOR KRISTINA KENEALLY 
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE 
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS 
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP 
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES 

CATHERINE KING MP  

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT 
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT 
 

GOVERNMENT’S ‘FIX’ DOES NOTHING, AS THE NUMBER OF STRANDED AUSTRALIANS GROWS 
 

The number of Australians stranded overseas has jumped to 29,100 people, as the Morrison Government continues to stall on delivering Federal action to get these people home faster. 

It’s almost a month since the Morrison Government announced its ‘fix’ for this issue but it’s clear changes to the cap have not delivered any real improvements for Australians struggling to get flights.  


This week, Scott Morrison has again floated the use of Howard Springs and charter flights – but he is still stalling on delivering these options for those in need.   


“Scott Morrison said yesterday he is ‘moving heaven and earth’ to get these Australians home. The only thing that appears to be moving is the number of people stranded – and it’s moving in the wrong direction,” said Senator Penny Wong, the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs.


Mr Morrison has had months to consider using a range of options at his disposal, including chartering flights and the use of the RAAF VIP fleet he controls.


The Government could also take further steps to support the states with resources and people to boost quarantine capacity - particularly in regional centres like Cairns and Townsville, as well as Canberra.


“This isn’t rocket science. We're not trying to send Australians to the moon, we are just trying to bring them home to Australia. This is a problem that can be solved – it just requires leadership,” said Senator Kristina Keneally, the Shadow Minister for Home Affairs.   


Almost two months ago, Labor laid out its plan to bring stranded Australians home, including action to stop airlines price gouging, increasing quarantine capacity and putting all options on the table to repatriate stranded Australians.   


A motion putting forward these urgent steps was passed by the Senate.   


“It’s time for the Government to start working with Australia’s airlines to bring Australians home,” said Catherine King, the Shadow Transport Minister.    


The Federal Government is responsible for our borders. Scott Morrison needs to stand up, take responsibility and help stranded Australians return home safely.