Downer: Abandoned overseas Aussies an “outrage”

This is something that I just can’t understand. Both from the perspective of the Morrison Government’s most sacred responsibility and the lassitude in Australians generally. Why have Australia’s 40k overseas citizens been so readily abandoned to their pandemic fates? It raises the question what is the point of “Australia” at all?

Alexander Downer takes up their cause today:

  • Returning Australians are having to pay $10k for a fight plus $3k for quarantine.
  • Downer says the quarantine should be free given it is imposed by the Morrison Government.
  • Downer has backed the abandoned Aussies claims to the UNHCR on the basis that the Morrison Government has violated its convention that “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country”.

I would go much further. The Morrison Government should also be subsidising the flights heavily and/or leasing aircraft and flying itself if it has to. There are idle planes piled high in Alice Springs. Contract Qantas for heaven’s sake.

Public indifference or fear is no excuse. Indeed, that is an opportunity for leadership.

This is a natural disaster no different to deploying the army in a flood.

Houses and Holes
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    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      The Chinese owner Xianfeng Lu (卢先锋) is the boss of a construction supply company with no background in agriculture. It was a ‘trophy buy’. He is also close to bankruptcy now (if not already).

      • Cynical snake

        So someone local will buy it back at cents on the dollar, seems win-win to me and a true export for minimal long term cost.

    • ” skilled staff have been replaced by foreign workers”
      “1600 cows, numbers had increased 63 per cent to 2600 cows”

      What a surprise

      • greedypuppyMEMBER

        National Party again representing the true interests of country folks. Sounds like one of Barnaby’s winning picks

    • Doesn’t raise any questions but answers many …Australian government is a private corporation where bottom line is the dollar. Like any good business manager they keep emotion out of it. Stranded Australian citizens equals loss..furr rain students & investors equal the meerkat says ..’simples’

  1. happy valleyMEMBER

    “Indeed, that is an opportunity for leadership.”

    Forget that – ScoMo doesn’t do leadership – only self-interest. But, just think of the further boost to housing demand from 40,000 returnees, pending the delay in the immigration floodgates being opened because of ScoMo’s game of mates vaccine debacle.

  2. Scummo cares about 2 things 1) fooling most peasants most of the time 2) looking after his masters’ interests.

  3. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Downer! You know what this means…Scummo has to go. Those upstairs have had enough.

      • BabundaMEMBER

        Say what you want about the Howard government, this never would have happened on his watch

    • You have to ask – what’s in this for Downer? Rekindling some page 3 news vibes, long Qantas shares and wanting to offload? Been told by the overlords to clear the decks of Scommo?

      Don’t be hoodwinked into thinking your average politician cares.

      General rule of thumb – ignore what people say, focus on what they do. If Scomo goes, the LNP powerbrokers have decided its so and are now creating the media narrative Scotty cannot manage.

  4. MathiasMEMBER

    For me, it seems like either:

    a) He is worried they might be Chinese Spys.

    These guys are morons who care about nothing unless it slaps them in the face. I can only summise there’s been some kind of security event in Canberra or something, and suddenly, ScoMo has a severe distrust for any Australian who travels overseas. Especially, Australians travelling to China. He might be thinking, ” They have no loyalty to the Government ” which is kind of funny because Im Australian and I dont either.

    b) There’s no money in it.

    c) He just hates Australians ( See b ).

    • Scotty would not know if he had been slapped in the face unless someone told him it had happened. Nooooo, self-awareness.

  5. Just another example of Scummo abrogating his responsibility to the citizens of this country.

  6. reusachtigeMEMBER

    I don’t want no diseased fckrs coming here! And I ain’t paying for their problems via my tax dollars either!!

  7. MathiasMEMBER

    I suspect the reason Australias Vaccine Rollouts have ended in such an absolute disaster is because when ScoMo’s Money Making Scam fell through with AstraZeneca, he probably thought, ” There’s no money in it. Why do I care anymore? “. So unless he’s got a bomb up his a$$, he got his Pfizer shot so why does he care?

    At this point, everyone else is going to die but him… and there’s no money in it so why does he care? I doubt he’s in a hurry.

    • MathiasMEMBER

      Australia secures an additional 20 million doses of Pfizer, but they won’t be here for a while

      But those Aussies will be waiting for quite a while, with Scott Morrison conceding that much-needed supply will not arrive until the end of the year.

      *head hits desk*

      This would be so funny if it wasnt a guy on a $500k per year salary. How do these guys survive a single day in the Private Sector with that kind of incompetence?

      I mean, seriously, Who would hire this man for a job again? lol.

      • How do these guys survive a single day in the Private Sector with that kind of incompetence?

        Mmmmm, that juicy payback for favours.

      • The private sector is always an apogee of excellence. We look to institutions such as AMP or Macquarie Bank during the GFC or the late Babcock and Brown to show us what the private sector can do. How would an incompetent ever survive in such an environment.

      • happy valleyMEMBER

        $500k salary pa … and the rest of the package – 2 mansion estates, Sharkie 1, chauffeured limousines etc etc etc.

        Sadly, ScoMo will get hired easily once he’s given politics away and will likely become seriously rich or potentially so. Still, it could all go pear shaped like it just has for ex UK PM David Cameron and the millions of pounds of options (now worthless) he got from Greensill.

  8. And the silence surrounding the fact that permanent residents and citizens are trapped in this country and are NOT free to leave has been deafening. There must be so many US citizens here considering giving away their Aussie permanent residency just so they can get home and receive better health care in the US then in Australia FFS!!
    And the vast majority of zombies here in this gilded cage don’t seem to give a flying fig that they are effectively imprisoned here. Wake up people!!

    • 4,200 we come

      It’s like living behind the Iron Curtain or in North Korea.

      I’d rather live with 20k deaths attributed to COVID per year than effectively be imprisoned in Australia.

      USA, Mexico, much of South America life is normal for the most part despite very few restrictions. I’m envious of people in those countries.

  9. I’m one of the 40k. Living in a country with zero covid for months. Not sure why I need to buy biz class seats and do quarantine (that raises my risk of getting the thing). So staying put. Watchinghouse prices to the moon.

    • You are making a good decision. This whole country reminds me of Escape from New York. We are all Snake Plisskin now!!

      • UpperWestsideMEMBER

        Think the remake is called
        “Escape to New York”

        In the beginning we had two hour lines to get into Costco but other than that and a shortage of sanitizer and wipes everything else was pretty much available (and we always had TP, pasta and takeout delivered – that plus netflix and you can survive for months).

        Lots of small shops have gone out of business, and a few of the large, but we were way over catered for retail wise. I mean you could run a formula one race in the contiguous parking lots of most minor towns. In the major towns ( outside of NYC ) you could run a Le Mans complete with the Mulsanne straight using only the strip mall parking lots.
        So .. life under NY’s lockdown has been reasonably survivable.

    • UpperWestsideMEMBER

      I am also one of the 200k. Living in ground zero – New York City – and planning to come home when the borders finally reopen
      I am overweight and the wrong side of 55, so I was at risk, but in my experience other than a very few individuals all the people I know that died were pretty sick or old in the first place. I know of 80 year olds that got it and didn’t even know, but I also had one of my juniors ( sits next to me in the office) get it and be down for months .

      Time for govt to start thinking long-term. This will be circulating and mutating globally forever. We need to learn to live with it coz beating it 100% is not going to happen any time soon, possibly ever.

    • UpperWestsideMEMBER

      I think the 40k is really more like 200k. I haven’t registered ( family of 5) and neither have most of the other Aussies I know. For now we are safe in NYC, we were planning on moving back in July of 2020, we tried getting it all happening quickly in March2020 but missed the window. We thought we would wait out the ‘few months’ that Scotty said the border would be closed.
      Right now given Scotty’s debacle of a quarantine plan it is best we just stay here and let the available places go to people who are really hurting. At least until we bleed out financially .

      Some will be ( like me) born and bred Aussies who also have citizen by descent , in my case Ireland (by my Grandparents) ,but as I am in NY on an E3 that doesn’t help me any and I have never lived in Ireland.

  10. Lord DudleyMEMBER

    My family aren’t registered, but we’re all green card holders. It’s funny… when the pandemic hit, some people we know asked “are you coming home?” and our response was “we ARE home”. The idea that a family might emigrate out of Australia apparently doesn’t compute for some.

    Anyhow, being the most cynical person on Earth about Australia, the Morrison government has honestly surprised me on this one. I mean, I knew they’d be shit about repatriation. But even I didn’t think they’d be this bad. They’ve done NOTHING to help the stranded. They’re utterly useless.

  11. Even StevenMEMBER

    I’m a little less bleeding heart on this issue. Callous? Maybe.

    I have little sympathy for people who stayed overseas thinking this would blow over in a few months and expect a completely tax-payer funded solution to their return. I expect them to have to make some form of contribution for their costs. Where they took the risk (e.g. holiday and didn’t want to cut it short) they should bear some consequence.

    For those who were genuinely stuck overseas (e.g. attending an ill family member) my preference would be to fully fund their return including quarantine under compassionate grounds.

    What I have not seen is a good dissection of how many fit in the former category vs the latter.

    My expectation is that the general apathy on this issue from the public is exactly as I have outlined above – the conflating of those who deserve a tax-payer funded return, and those who do not.

  12. 1. Scummo can’t run a choko vine up a dunny wall. This is just one more thing he’d f*ck up, so he’s staying well away from anything logistical. And he’s very right to do that, from his own POV.
    2. Many, many, Little Ozzers, it’s become clear to me, take a dim view of any of their countrymen who have the gall to explore the world a little, and are quite comfortable watching them get their comeuppance for daring to stray from “the best country on earth”.

    • Even StevenMEMBER

      CORRECTION: I think Australians take a dim view of those who didn’t heed the warnings and advice to return to Australia when it was appropriate to do so.

      • Warnings from the government that brought us the CovidSafe app and the vaccine non roll out? Sure … I’d pack up my life (job, family, home…) in an instant on that government’s say so. Whatever helps you and the other Little Ozzers to sleep at night I guess