Greens Foreign Affairs spokesperson Senator Janet Rice said Morrison’s delay in getting stranded Australians home is unacceptable and has called on the government to urgently increase federal resources to boost quarantining capacity across the country.
Senator Rice said:
“Morrison has finally acted in announcing an expansion to quarantine facilities at Howard Springs, but it has taken him too long, and the solution is nowhere near good enough.
“While the Prime Minister has been gallivanting around Queensland on the campaign trail, almost 30,000 Australians have been waiting anxiously to find out when they’ll be able to see their families again.
“The Government’s delay has been devastating for Australians and their families stuck overseas. Over and over again we have heard heartbreaking stories of Australians who are separated from their children, from the medical care they need and from their jobs.
“The fact that tens of thousands are still waiting to get home is an indictment on Morrison’s inaction.
“The Greens have repeatedly said that most Australians wanting to come home can’t wait until the end of the year – they are desperate and fearful of yet again having flights cancelled. Not only that, as the virus continues to impact travel in other countries, getting home could become even harder for many.
“The Morrison Government urgently needs to increase federal resources to boost quarantining capacity across the country. Only then will Australians be able to get home when they need to and at reasonable cost.
“With transport networks all across the world in disarray, the government must also provide assistance for Australians to reach the point of departure. Otherwise, many would-be travellers could be watching a crucial lifeline leave without them.”