Tuesday, 30 November 2021
Statements by Members
Madeleine King (Brand, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Trade) Share this | Link to this | Hansard source
Samsoor contacted my office in February this year seeking assistance with a partnership visa application for his wife, Lida, to travel from Afghanistan to Australia. Lida's application had been pending for three years and, with the situation in Afghanistan deteriorating, Samsoor and Lida were pleading for action. Yet with my urgent letters to the Morrison government having gone unanswered for months, Samsoor and I were confronted with the sad fact that this government did not care about him and his family. When Lida finally received a humanitarian visa, on 23 August, about a week after the Taliban took over Kabul, she was turned away at the airport due to a communication breakdown between the Australian agencies. The Morrison government's negligence in failing to process visa applications for three years almost cost Lida her life, with two suicide bombers and multiple gunmen attacking crowds at Kabul airport shortly after Australian authorities turned her away into the chaos, clutching her humanitarian visa and her documents.
After a terrifying three months trapped in Kabul, and despite the Morrison government's disgraceful mismanagement of the Afghanistan crisis, Lida has since made it to Australia. Samsoor and Lida are thrilled to be reunited, and I welcome Lida to Australia with open arms. I look forward to meeting her when she arrives in her new home in WA. I thank the people who worked tirelessly to get Lida here—in particular, Mat, in my electorate office, who refused to give up hope that Samsoor and Lida would be reunited. This is just one good story that ended well. There are 3,000 others waiting for their humanitarian visas. (Time expired)