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Still no Plan as the Number of Stranded Australians Rises to 23,000

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The number of Australians stranded overseas has jumped by more than 20 per cent in a fortnight and the Morrison Government still has no plan to get vulnerable people home.

Officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed there are now 23,000 Australians who want to return home from overseas.

3,450 of these stranded Australians are considered medically or financially vulnerable.

It’s almost eight weeks since Scott Morrison rushed to make an announcement on caps for incoming passengers with no plan for what would happen next.

It’s almost two weeks since Scott Morrison announced to the media he had asked senior ministers for “ideas” to support those stuck overseas as a result of this cap – but tens of thousands of Australians are still stranded.

Last weeks announcement of a hardship program loaning emergency funds to “only the most vulnerable” is an attempt to get a headline without actually helping people.

The 23,000 Australians stranded overseas need more than empty announcements – they need a plan to get home.

Labor will move a motion in the Senate calling on the Morrison Government to take urgent action, including:

  • Draw on Commonwealth resources to increase quarantine capacity, allowing the number of permitted arrivals under international flight caps to go up.
  • Stopping price gouging by airlines flying into Australia.
  • Put all options on the table to repatriate stranded Australians, including charter flights if there are no other alternatives.

The Morrison Government has already proven it has the ability to repatriate stranded Australians with Federal quarantine arrangements – as they did at the start of the pandemic – and should act now to help stranded Australians get home.

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