Coalition again prioritises foreign students over Australians

The federal and South Australian governments are finalising a plan to fly 300 international students into Adelaide while interstate residents are blocked from entering and thousands of Australians are stranded offshore due to strict entry caps:

The final details of the national-first pilot program to fly the students from Singapore back to Adelaide in September are being ironed out between the state and federal governments this week.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan has confirmed the trial will not affect Australians trying to come home while each state has a cap on overseas arrivals.

“No international students will take the place of Australians returning from overseas,” said Mr Tehan.

He did not confirm further details but said the pilot was being finalised by the commonwealth, SA and local universities.

A State Government spokeswoman also indicated the scheme was close to being finalised…

Polls have found the vast majority of South Australians oppose it, either on health-risk grounds or the perceived unfairness of allowing students in, while locals have loved ones overseas or in Victoria who can’t or aren’t allowed to come home.

Who is Dan Tehan trying to kid when he says “no international students will take the place of Australians returning from overseas”. Last Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison explicitly said that he would not lift the cap on returning Australians due to the risks it would place on hotel quarantine:

Journalist: Have you asked the states and territories to consider expanding their capacity for hotel quarantine? We know we’ve got 18,000 Australians trying to get home?

Prime Minister: On the many Australians, and it’s around about the number that you’ve mentioned, some of those in a much more urgent state. Right now, when you’re looking to manage the risk in quarantine, I agree, and that’s why I am not lifting the caps currently as they exist on airports at the moment in our major capital city centres… It is in our view and of course, the other state governments that are affected, that right now it is not the wise decision to lift those caps…

But we’ll be reviewing those caps every fortnight. So we will review them again in a fortnight from now, and once the Victorian, I think, and we can be even more confident of the New South Wales situation, which is very good, then I’m hoping that we’ll be able to make further room there. But right now, on the balance of risk, on the balance of risk, we need to keep those caps where they are.

Clearly, the Morrison Government cares more about foreign students than it does about helping Australians stranded abroad to return home.

When foreign nationals carry more political weight than Australians, you know your entire political system has been corrupted.

Unconventional Economist


  1. adelaide_economistMEMBER

    It’s funny because when I walk home from work, it takes me through the ‘Chinatown’ area of Adelaide and I’m always amused to think the very numerous chainsmoking (apparently imported cigarettes, judging by the writing on the cig packets dumped on the street) non-English speakers who all seem to drive various black second hand Eurotrash vehicles with a multitude of 8s on the number plates are considered rolled gold to the elites. I’m sure they (of course) all passed their English proficiency at the minimum IELTS 6 or 7 though – for real – and just have trouble speaking coherent English for the fun of it.

    I’m useful only to the extent I pay my ~40% marginal tax rate, keep my mouth shut and watch all this unfold. That the ‘rights’ of non-citizens are placed above those of locals is finally on open display for all to see and I’m thinking it’s a wake up call, if possibly far too late, for many people around me who can’t quite believe it. Call it another ‘win’ from covid19 which, for all the destruction it has wrought, has also forced many things into the open.

    • I agree 100% – except I refer to the area as the Central Markets. Far as I know there are no reciprocal ‘Australia Towns’ overseas? Why do they get to claim an area as their own? Also love the majority of store signage in non-english. There is no integration here. Also, these imported ‘students’ will presumably use up our limited medical resources if they do fall sick once out of quarantine and presumably at taxpayer cost? Apparently there is a team of people processing the waiver of paying the $3K fees to cover their quarantine costs anyway. Have previously written to local MP who sent my letter to Dutton and Tehan. Only got a response back from Tehan. All the while our daily lives are impacted by covid ‘marshalls’.

        • ‘Universities are autonomous entities and are able to make their own decisions on the number of international students on campus’. Said that all the medical advice will be followed. International students make sacrifices to come here to study. ‘Together, we have a shared responsibility to our international students’ in response to my question of what happens when they arrive here.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      You should not question the integrity of the process, the person they hired to do the exam have passed it with flying colours 😛

    • I’m useful only to the extent I pay my ~40% marginal tax rate, keep my mouth shut and watch all this unfold. That the ‘rights’ of non-citizens are placed above those of locals is finally on open display for all to see

      Glad you finally understand – as an existing resident of EZFKA you are now effectively a sunk cost.

      Why should the EZ spend more on you other than the basic loyalty program you are already entitled to, through the availability of ever diminishing social services? You’ve probably maxed out your debt too and are in the amortisation period of your consumer debt life cycle – you’re not likely to deliver as big a future credit boost to the economy as some clean skin import.

  2. “When foreign nationals carry more political weight than Australians, you know your entire political system has been corrupted.”

    Like this
    A textbook used in Victorian schools that promotes Chinese territorial claims rejected by both Australia and under international law has been recalled by the publisher.
    … Another extract from the book states that the Chinese view notions of political freedoms as “unfeasible” in such a large country and instead the people “value a strong central government”.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      To put ‘UN law of the sea’ into perspective : the USA did not rectified the treaty either. In reality the document is merely wishful thinking from nations without a functioning navy.

      The Chinese textbook on ‘political freedom’ being ‘unfeasible’ in China is correct. but it omitted the most important reason why it is “unfeasible” : totalitarian oppression is necessary for China to remain one country. If Xinjiang and Tibet have democracy, they will not be part of China anymore. (instead they would both become theocracy, but I digress..) The rich Chinese coastal region will want to break away from the much poorer inner west as well, and the country will break up like the former USSR. This pattern of breaking up and reunification is repeated throughout Chinese history.

  3. Morrison will simply exempt foreign students from the cap, because “nationally significant export”. But really, because Ponzi.

  4. Are uni campuses open or will these students study online once they’re here?

    What criteria was used to pick these students? Are their parents politically connected?

    • I spoke to a local Uni student (UQ) the other day and she confirmed she’s barely on campus these days. The bulk is online right now.

  5. Journalist: So you’re seriously saying that we couldn’t assign the 300 seats to Australian backsides instead? Tehan: Obviously, that is correct. These are alternate jets that fly in a parallel vice-chancellors’ universe.

  6. I like the Bahasa Indonesian term for corruption: korupsi. Tones it down a bit so it’s less of a criminal act and abuse of power, kind of like whoopsie.

  7. And this is just a POC (proof of concept) for the real thing that will happen across the country after the pretend 2 week quarantine.
    So, the govt that is elected by the people for the people, who has clearly been spoken to by the people, eg the majority against this move, will just do it anyway. Because really, the govt, elected by the people, for the 1% who profit bigly from the ‘big australia’ model, will do whatever suits them and f*ck the rest of us.
    Previous comment above stands, COVID has in fact ripped away some of the obfuscation around our politics and policies and shown exactly what/who the priorities and the beneficiaries are.

    • Charles MartinMEMBER

      I’m gunna call it now. This “POC” will be an absolute success.
      Which may seem strange given the stuff ups in Vic and NSW quarantine. But hey, the SA and NT bureaucrats must have talked to their colleagues and studied the lessons learned so they can now act in the national interest and keep everyone safe while providing a vital export. #wereallinthistogether

  8. Grandparents can’t fly to meet their newborn grandchildren.

    Husbands and wives can’t get in to see their partners.

    Family can’t fly to visit sick relatives.

    But we allow people in who have no connection to the country other than financial?

    This is a disgrace.

  9. Disgusting. Wife’s friend who has cancer can’t get her mom to fly in from canada to support her while she has surgery. We are all in this together remember?

  10. Utter disgrace. Have written letters to local state member and federal senator.

    I wonder how many of these “students” will be coming here from the Celestial Empire of Hurt Feelings?

    Absolute FVKCN 😡

  11. Aside from the stupidity of bringing them in can they support themselves financially as it seems very can.