Government rejects plea to bring international students back

Earlier this week, the chief lobbyist for the international education industry, Phil Honeywood, called on the federal government to run charter flights and separate quarantine facilities to bring international students into the country:

“There’s no reason why we can’t have charter flights bringing the students in, walking them across the tarmac into separate quarantine facilities that will not be competing with the hotel quarantine for Australian returnees”.

Thankfully, this plea was today rejected outright by Prime Minister Scott Morrison:

“It would be good if we could get to that point, but at this stage we’re not at that point”…

“The opening of the international borders, we don’t think is wise at this time.”

As always, the edu-migration industry is displaying moral hazard behaviour. They want to privatise the financial benefits from having international students’ return, while the costs and risks are borne by taxpayers and the broader community. It’s classic heads I win, tails you lose behaviour.

No international students should arrive in Australia until all citizens and permanent residents stranded abroad have returned home.

Once that is achieved, foreign nations like international students should be allowed to return in a managed way via hotel quarantine at their own expense (not taxpayers).

If Australians can be charged between $2500 to $3000 for their hotel quarantine, then so should international students.

Unconventional Economist


  1. With an election looming, he clearly doesn’t want to risk it.

    Post election, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him relent.

    • adelaide_economistMEMBER

      100% this. The ‘small issue’ of the rape epidemic is delaying the much sought after ‘early election’, which also delays the return of policies that are popular with the LNP and their backers but not so much with the vast bulk of the population.

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      It’s more “If I screw up, there are little consequences for me and others bear the burden of my mistakes – therefore it makes sense for me to take stupid risks for personal gain”.
      In more technical terms:
      Moral hazard is a situation in which one party engages in risky behavior or fails to act in good faith because it knows the other party bears the economic consequences of their behavior. … Any time an individual does not have to suffer the full economic consequences of a risk, moral hazard can occur.

      However your “wicked greed” point is still a driver here.

  2. Charles MartinMEMBER

    Nice bit of news for a Friday arvo. My beer will be a bit more pleasant than usual.

  3. Good stuff. Scummo has so far refused to take responsibility for quarantine. If he allowed this he knows how easy it is for the bat flu to escape and he don’t want his name against it. Rest assured this decision is in his own interests only. But I’ll take it.