House debates

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Statements by Members

COVID-19: Australians Overseas

1:39 pm

Photo of Tim WattsTim Watts (Gellibrand, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Communications) Share this | | Hansard source

With deep apologies to Tim Minchin: I really like Christmas! It's sentimental, I know, but I just really like it. And I've heard the prime ministerial promises, but I don't believe that every stranded Australian will be home by Christmas—to be honest. And I've heard all the usual excuses and redefinitions of waiting-list places, while Australians wait for spaces in quarantine places and beg the PM to be the leader that he's meant to be. But there are still thousands of Aussies who can't get a flight, and they're losing their jobs and their homes while they fight, just to come back to the country that they call home. And I know that they really don't like it.

There's just 17 days remaining, and with a fortnight of quarantine between them and their families they have just three days to get home or they won't be seeing their dad, their brother and their sisters, their gran and their mum. They won't be drinking white wine in the sun. The Prime Minister promised to get stranded Australians home by Christmas but he's now out of time. There'll be thousands of empty seats on verandas around Australia this Christmas; thousands of Christmas dinners where the gravy won't taste the same; and thousands of Australian families betrayed by a Prime Minister who didn't keep his promise to them at the most important time of the year.