Labor Senator for South Australia
15 October 2020
SENATOR PENNY WONG LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA
SENATOR KRISTINA KENEALLY DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES CATHERINE KING MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENTMEMBER FOR BALLARAT
It’s been 44 days since Labor called on Scott Morrison to use Federal quarantine facilities and organise charter flights – such as the RAAF VIP fleet he controls – to bring the almost 30,000 stranded Australians home before Christmas.It’s been 55 days since Scott Morrison announced he had tasked senior ministers with coming up with a plan to help stranded Australians.And last week, the Senate passed a motion urging the Morrison Government to take these urgent steps to help stranded Australians return home but Government senators voted against such action.Now after months of delay, Scott Morrison has made yet another announcement that still won’t deliver on his promise of having stranded Australians home by Christmas.Why has it taken Scott Morrison months to take action while Australian citizens have been left abandoned overseas – many deemed medically and financially vulnerable – during a deadly, global pandemic?If Scott Morrison had taken action sooner, many of the almost 30,000 stranded Australians could have returned home safely and quarantined at the Howard Springs facility by now.The Federal Government is responsible for our borders and quarantine arrangements have always been a federal responsibility.
The Morrison Government should now be supporting the states with resources and people to boost quarantine capacity – including places such as Cairns, the Gold Coast, Townsville, as well as Canberra – to make sure stranded Australians can get home before Christmas.The Morrison Government needs to deliver for the almost 30,000 stranded Australians who have already been abandoned overseas longer than necessary during a deadly global pandemic.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.
Authorised by P Wong, Level 4, 19 Gouger St, Adelaide