More than 45,000 Australians still stranded overseas

Over 45,000 people are now listed on the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade’s register of stranded Australians who are seeking government help to return home.

The number of people on the register has increased in recent months, due to a further tightening of arrival caps and the worsening situation in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover.

Of the 45,000 people on the list, 4,700 are viewed as vulnerable, while DFAT no longer provides a breakdown of how many stranded Australians are registered in each country.

From The Guardian:

Stranded Australians have been hit by the decision of some airlines including Singapore Airlines and All Nippon Airways to further cut their already reduced services into Australia in coming months, taking the number of citizens and permanent residents now registered with Dfat to 45,200.

That’s up from 38,000 who were registered on its assistance list at the end of July.

Of the total number of those registered as stranded, 4,700 are considered vulnerable, according to DFAT…

On Sunday, Australians stranded in London staged a vigil outside the Australian High Commission to protest the continuing border conditions making it difficult to return to Australia.

As noted in the article, many of these abandoned Australians have been unable to return due to hard caps on quarantine places as well as the extortionate cost and lack of availability of flights.

Those citizens that have made it home have been slugged $10,000 each for flights as well as $3,000 for their quarantine stays.

Even Australia’s former Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, labelled the treatment of abandoned Australians an “outrage” and backed their claims to the UNHCR that the Morrison Government has violated its convention that “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country”.

To add insult to injury, while Aussies have been stranded abroad, the federal government has:

  • Facilitated the entry of thousands of migrant fruit pickers, with their quarantine costs subsidised by Australian taxpayers;
  • Granted entry to nearly 15,000 foreign millionaires under the controversial business innovation and investment visa schemes; and
  • The federal government’s skilled migration committee recommend “the Government reserve places on flights and in quarantine for skilled migrants”.

The Morrison Government could have chartered flights whenever it wanted to bring Australians home. There are dozens of idle airplanes parked near Alice Springs:

Alice Springs plane graveyard

There are dozens of planes parked near Alice Springs.

Instead, it chose to abandon Aussies overseas.

The fact that the Morrison Government has also prioritised temporary visa holders over actual Australian citizens is an outright disgrace and is further evidence of its deep ingrained corruption.

It abandoned its most sacred duty to look after the welfare of Australians.

Unconventional Economist


  1. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Not my problem nor should it be my taxes. Seems like it’s been 45,000 for well over a year now yet many 1000s come back each week. Bet a lot of these left relatively recently now they whinge. Maybe they need to get used to living where they are then.

    • Your taxes? Good one. Only thing is, the Quaintarse flights they sometimes put on cost 2× the normal one way flights. And then fill the pockets of a few well chosen hoteliers at the rate of $210 per night, watched over by some shady characters swept off the streets and promoted to guard duties and with my luck with room service, might even blow their nose in my curry. Current price on the open market return from UK is circa $14,000 plus prison fee plus 6 month queue.

  2. We know two “Aussies” who are overseas.

    1. One is living and working in Vietnam as a teacher. Because COVID has gone nuts over there now suddenly wants to come home as is basically locked in her house with no food. Locals take all the food being delivered before whites get it. Many expats in Vietnam in big trouble now. Only added herself to the list in the last 3-4 weeks.

    2. Another is living and working in Colombia. Has dual citizenship. Lived here for 17 years (and came a citizen of AU) before heading back home in 2018 before COVID started. Has ridden out the situation in Bogota so far, but is considering adding himself to the list at some point. Has $150,000+ in Australian super companies from working here for so long and wants to find a way to rip it all out so he can buy a house and settle down back in Colombia. Mainly wants to come back to sort out finances in person as very difficult to do from overseas in a different time zone. Suspect many people who are “Aussies” on paper only want to come back here to sort out final legal and financial affairs (and sell properties) before leaving Australia for good.

    • Frank DrebinMEMBER

      Aussies should have all left and come back 18 months ago when it was clear to all smart people that a pandemic was going to ravage the globe and their country would abandon them.

      India has managed to repatriate 6 million+ citizens using the national carrier and yet we pay Qantas $1.5 billion to mothball their planes in the US.

      Absolute disgrace this country.

      • Agreed, a bit of caution was OK 18 months (TM) ago but now it is just absolute rubbish. If this fax is as great as they say it is, let the fully faxxed come home now.

  3. rob barrattMEMBER

    I think you left out “well known celebrities”. Dannii Minogue went straight through to a luxury mansion to “quaranteen”. The rest of use went into a hotel….

  4. SoCalSurfCreeperMEMBER

    Return is all but impossible now. It’s the hardest it’s been since the very beginning. By far. Ironic given that there are 1500 odd local cases a day now and maybe 1 or 2 per week detected in quarantine. The amount of resources consumed by quarantine would be better directed to mitigating community transmission.

    • Lord DudleyMEMBER

      I’ve decided I’m not going back. It’s cheaper to fly close relatives here than my family of 5 there. That way, they get a fun US holiday where they can see things like actual mountains, and I don’t have to blow a heap of my leave flying all the way around the world. Literally the only thing I miss about Australia is the beaches.

  5. Of course they are not a high priority, they are obviously ‘unskilled’ otherwise they would already be working here….. /s

  6. No Australian citizen should have to pay $14K to come home then $3k to quarantine & place of entry & then maybe $3K at place of home, no matter the circumstances. And if it’s a family what is the ridiculous price? Poor form by our Government & a disgrace in the face of the rest of the world. Fail. If a Government can abrogate their responsibilities to citizens how can they expect citizens to continue to follow the rule of law?

  7. You also forgot the calls for international students to get priority access to the not yet finished new state built outdoor quarantine facilities