Quarantine failures highlight grave risk in rebooting immigration

The NSW Government’s hotel quarantine program is under scrutiny after a third case of COVID-19 was linked to returned overseas travellers.

A nurse is believed to have contracted the virus while transporting a family from Sydney airport to a quarantine hotel, although health authorities have yet to determine the exact source of this infection.

A cleaner who works at two of Sydney’s quarantine hotels and a bus driver who shuttles flight crews to and from the airport have also tested positive in recent weeks.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian contends that some ‘leakage’ is inevitable and must be expected.

From The Australian:

Ms Berejiklian defended the breaches by pointing to the high number of people who had ­successfully isolated within Sydney’s hotel quarantine program.

“I don’t think any system can ever guarantee that we won’t have transmission events,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“I think it’s inevitable these ­issues will arise.

“We try as best we can to minimise them but it is about the response and actions of individuals coming through”…

Figures obtained by The Australian show NSW has taken 89,574 returning travellers into hotel quarantine since March 28, amounting to more than half of the 175,854 returning travellers that have arrived in Australia.

It has also taken more interstate residents than any other jurisdiction, with the cumulative interstate figure now sitting at 42,084.

I do have some sympathy for the NSW Government given it has taken in the lion’s share of returning Australians into quarantine.

What I do not have sympathy for is the NSW Government’s treasonous plan to reserve one-third of the state’s hotel quarantine places for international students that would be flown into Australia on chartered flights and have their quarantine costs paid for by universities:

The NSW government is taking a plan to national cabinet to bring up to 1000 international students a week into Sydney starting in the new year…

The students, to arrive on charter flights, will use up nearly one-third of the state’s 3000 passenger a week limit on overseas entries…

The plan is strongly backed by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian because of the economic benefit it will bring NSW…

The NSW move was welcomed by International Education Association of Australia chief executive Phil Honeywood…

The arriving students will need to spend two weeks in quarantine, and some universities are willing to pay the $3000 quarantine cost on the students’ behalf…

Given the risks involved in quarantining international arrivals, quarantine places must be reserved for returning Australian citizens and permanent residents only. To do otherwise would not only be unfair to the tens-of-thousands of Australians still stranded abroad, but would also increase the risks of importing the virus.

No quarantine places should be set aside for international students and migrants until every single Australian citizen and permanent resident stranded abroad has been repatriated. Nor should students and migrants have their airfares and quarantine costs subsidised when actual Australians are being forced to wear the full costs.

Australians must come first.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. I’m waiting on the government to generously bestow an exemption so I can even leave the country whilst the government is simultaneously plotting to create a convoluted scheme to bring in tens of thousands of Nepalese pre-immigrants so as to undermine the wages of our national labour force.

    Ever get the feeling that the government must piss itself laughing at what it gets away with these days ?

    Then again…..they used to conscript young Aussies to go a kill Vietnamese so there’s not much new about the situation is there ?

      • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

        LNP are able to be LNP, almost entirely because Labor have betrayed Australians with support for immigration.

        • happy valleyMEMBER

          Yep, we are totally devoid of choice and Labor’s legacy after the next election will be “the LNP dictatorship we had to have” when the LNP gets control of both houses?

          • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

            Australia won’t give the senate to a single party again IMO. Put independents in there that more reflect what Australians want.

            It’s the sole way we can fix this unfolding disaster.

          • […] when the LNP gets control of both houses?

            They’re unlikely to get it directly. The Senate tends to be more representative of how people vote when they aren’t forced to vote for the two majors.

            That said they’ll probably have more success buying off Independents/minors on “crucial” issues as they tend to lean right/conservative.

    • Lerdsila Chumpairtour

      ‘Ever get the feeling that the government must piss itself laughing at what it gets away with these days ?’
      It’s actively being rubbed in your face and they want you to know that.

  2. I wonder whether circumstances will conspire to get in the way of this. The chance and consequences of leakage, no of returning Australians, new super strains, and the catastrophe unfolding in the rest of the world will make Gladys think twice.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      Dunno Gramus. Not a lot of character shown in the choice of romantic partner.

      I’ve found that any partner chosen after 30, is a pretty good reflection of a person’s character, values, strengths and weaknesses.

      • That’s a very nice theory. In practice, and certainly in the days before online dating, in some professions there was only a tiny pool of eligibles to chose from 🙂