House debates

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Statements by Members

COVID-19: International Travel

1:32 pm

Photo of Anne StanleyAnne Stanley (Werriwa, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

For months, Australians have been stranded overseas. These are 32,000 Australians whose only option is to empty their bank account to pay exorbitant prices for commercial flights home—flights that are continually cancelled and rescheduled with little notice. All the while, they've watched citizens of other countries be rescued by their governments.

Raul, from Ashcroft in my electorate, has been has been stuck in Argentina since the start of the pandemic. Unable to return home, Raul has lost his job, been evicted from his home and had his possessions sold by his landlord. He's managed to secure a flight home so that he can rebuild his life, but that flight will not leave until January 2021. Until then, Raul has no family or friends he can rely on for support; instead, he's surviving through the goodwill of strangers. Representations made to Minister Payne in September are still awaiting a response.

Sadly, this is but one heart-wrenching story out of many in my electorate. Adriana from Casula was diagnosed with cancer in June. She's stranded in Uruguay. Musa, from Hinchinbrook, is stuck in Sudan, where his regular medication is not available. Meanwhile, it seems that mates of this government can come and go as they please. Once again, I call on this government to do something for our people who have been left overseas with no money and no prospects and bring them home as soon as possible.