UN committee supports right to return home for Australian Citizens

Seat0B

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Potentially. Although I think the first 12 months were a 'fair enough' case of waiting to see what happened.
Now that is something we can agree on! Although I might have said that it was pretty obvious after 6 months that the current approach was insufficient and inadequate.

Except of course, HQ caps are not arbitrary, either in their existence (based on health advice) or the number (based on ability to safely manage the virus within the hotels). In fact it could be argued that the numbers allowed into HQ have been too high, as the virus hasn’t been able to be contained there, in a number of cases.
One might argue that if HQ had been properly run (eg with proper PPE, with proper ventilation, with workers first to be fully vaccinated using 3 week Pfizer and not allowed to work in HQ if not vaccinated), then the number of places available would be much higher. or if the government had stepped up and provided quarantine in places other than hotels, which clearly are not that suited for the purpose - today's story about yet another family being infected in quarantine - I would be ropeable if that happened to me.

As mentioned by @MEL_Traveller, maybe this was OK at the start as a stop gap measure, but it is well over a year now and really nothing has changed.
 

mviy

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Getting flights is the main issue. They keep being cancelled esp when Victoria closes HQ for weeks on end.
Might be worth booking to go to Sydney then. Although not ideal, a short flight at the end of the 2 weeks of hotel quarantine is better than not being able to come at all.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Now that is something we can agree on! Although I might have said that it was pretty obvious after 6 months that the current approach was insufficient and inadequate.


One might argue that if HQ had been properly run (eg with proper PPE, with proper ventilation, with workers first to be fully vaccinated using 3 week Pfizer and not allowed to work in HQ if not vaccinated), then the number of places available would be much higher. or if the government had stepped up and provided quarantine in places other than hotels, which clearly are not that suited for the purpose - today's story about yet another family being infected in quarantine - I would be ropeable if that happened to me.

As mentioned by @MEL_Traveller, maybe this was OK at the start as a stop gap measure, but it is well over a year now and really nothing has changed.

But bad management doesn’t necessarily make the decision to impose caps ‘arbitrary’. We are where we are. The HQ system can’t cope with additional capacity, and we haven’t built dedicated quarantine centres. Under the circumstances, the caps have a sound basis. Or at least did, until people started to get vaccinated.
 

Seat0B

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Might be worth booking to go to Sydney then. Although not ideal, a short flight at the end of the 2 weeks of hotel quarantine is better than not being able to come at all.
Yes thanks - he had one to MEL and one to SYD that were both cancelled - we live in Canberra, so there is always a connecting flight.
 

jakeseven7

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Yes thanks - he had one to MEL and one to SYD that were both cancelled - we live in Canberra, so there is always a connecting flight.

Sounds like he had some bad luck and my friends had some good luck then getting in twice from Dubai! Sorry :(
 

dajop

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And in relation to his work and reluctance about 2 weeks HQ, it is because most other places are not requiring this - although the UK does now have UAE on the red list and maybe once this affects the (mainly UK) partners wanting to go home to their families, their attitude might change. It's even worse, because his employment contract includes a trip home every year at employer expense - but only economy, as he is junior.

Do wish him luck, shame he can't find a way/they don't want to find a way to let him undertake 2 weeks work in HQ, as it sure as heck makes the time go an awful lot quicker.
 

ethernet

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The UN's decision is correct, even if we try to wiggle out over what arbitrary means. Broadly the Fed Govt allowed the States to chicken out of responsibility. Now the Cwth can use Cwth revenue sharing to legitimately cut state budgets (failure to meet UN requirements) by the number of their citizens stranded - by state. When state budgets reduce a few 10's of millions, the Fedgov will have states begging to prioritize their stranded residents back.
 

dajop

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by the number of their citizens stranded - by state.

Citizens overseas do not necessarily have a state, they may or may not have familial or property ties. They are citizens of Australia, not Queensland or South Australia. Do we go by "state of origin"? (where born?)

I know a someone - a passionate Queenslander, who was in Singapore for 6 years, who has recently returned to Victoria to work (which is where she worked for 2 years before coming to Singapore). Her husband has been in Qld for last 3 years. Is she a NSW or Victorian? Or before working in Vic for 18 month, she was in NSW for 4? What does that make her?
 

Seat0B

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Sounds like he had some bad luck and my friends had some good luck then getting in twice from Dubai! Sorry :(
There really is quite a bit of luck apparently according to all the expat Facebook forums etc. Some people have had 4 or 5 cancellations, others just sail through. it's complex.
 

Seat0B

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Do wish him luck, shame he can't find a way/they don't want to find a way to let him undertake 2 weeks work in HQ, as it sure as heck makes the time go an awful lot quicker.
They are working on it, and I am pretty sure it will happen later this year. His firm did initially agree to that, but then there was some issue about secure access to confidential legal files which they think they have solved by allowing piggy backing via VPN into the Sydney branch of this global firm. But that took ages to sort. And bizarrely professional indemnity insurance is a very big issue - because the insurer is saying that it actually matters where you are physically located when you provide the professional advice (I cannot believe this in 2021!) and his firm is only insured for UAE, UK, Singapore and USA. So it comes down then to "seconding" him to the Australian office so he is on their insurance.... and that's an issue because the Australian office is not insured for appearing in the Dubai International Finance Centre Courts (even by video appearance, which is how it is all running at the moment). So really, it's surprisingly complex when you get to the detail - ah the devil is always in the detail.

Now if he could go to Singapore, and we could go to Singapore - that might work. But I don't have any grounds for an exit permit....
 

suze2000

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None of this would be a problem if people could have been trusted to do the right thing and quarantine at home.

It infuriates me as my husband and I arrived back in Australia mid-March last year, and obeyed the directive to the letter, despite my significant birthday happening while we were isolated in the house. We stayed home, ordered in, and the friends that dropped a cake in for my birthday were thanked through a door.

But NOOOooo, SOME people thought their personal circumstances too important to obey the health directive and now we end up here.
 

mviy

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I agree. Surely they could do things like huge fines, extended time in hotel quarantine for those who do the wrong thing and in extreme cases confiscate passports for say a few years for those who do the wrong thing. Perhaps have it done as a bond paid on arrival to Australia (or even before the flight to Australia) that is refunded later only if the right thing is done.

Home quarantine should work right now.
 

Seat0B

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I agree with you both @suze2000 and @mviy. Surely there must be solutions that can be implemented that don't rely exclusively on HQ, which is also a far from perfect system.

And to get back on topic, I really think that it is the failure to make any adjustment or improvement to HQ and especially the very restrictive caps that is resulting in arbitrary denial of citizens exercising their right of return to Australia. If the caps were not there, market forces would prevail and commercial arrangements for flights would follow, meaning that if there was demand, there would be flights. it is the artifical, and in my opinion, arbitrary imposition of caps that causes the bottleneck and financial impacts so high that many people cannot afford the flights and quarantine costs, especially for families. I'm not saying there should be no HQ, or even that the caps were not necessary in the beginning to get things running smoothly, but it is now well over a year, and things are totally stagnant in terms of any improvements to the system.

And as @hb13 and others have pointed out, people who are not currently in distress wanting to return will become distressed in the end as their visas expire, or if they lose a job or get sick or have a bereavement or family illness back in Australia that needs their attention.
 
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hb13

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I agree with you both @suze2000 and @mviy. Surely there must be solutions that can be implemented that don't rely exclusively on HQ, which is also a far from perfect system.

And to get back on topic, I really think that it is the failure to make any adjustment or improvement to HQ and especially the very restrictive caps that is resulting in arbitrary denial of citizens exercising their right of return to Australia. If the caps were not there, market forces would prevail and commercial arrangements for flights would follow, meaning that if there was demand, there would be flights. it is the artifical, and in my opinion, arbitrary imposition of caps that causes the bottleneck and financial impacts so high that many people cannot afford the flights and quarantine costs, especially for families. I'm not saying there should be no HQ, or even that the caps were not necessary in the beginning to get things running smoothly, but it is now well over a year, and things are totally stagnant in terms of any improvements to the system.

And as @hb13 and others have pointed out, people who are not currently in distress wanting to return will become distressed in the end as their visas expire, or if they lose a job or get sick or have a bereavement or family illness back in Australia that needs their attention.

And what will happen because of this is that numbers of Aussies who are stranded will continue to increase and increase.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I agree with you both @suze2000 and @mviy. Surely there must be solutions that can be implemented that don't rely exclusively on HQ, which is also a far from perfect system.

And to get back on topic, I really think that it is the failure to make any adjustment or improvement to HQ and especially the very restrictive caps that is resulting in arbitrary denial of citizens exercising their right of return to Australia. If the caps were not there, market forces would prevail and commercial arrangements for flights would follow, meaning that if there was demand, there would be flights. it is the artifical, and in my opinion, arbitrary imposition of caps that causes the bottleneck and financial impacts so high that many people cannot afford the flights and quarantine costs, especially for families. I'm not saying there should be no HQ, or even that the caps were not necessary in the beginning to get things running smoothly, but it is now well over a year, and things are totally stagnant in terms of any improvements to the system.

And as @hb13 and others have pointed out, people who are not currently in distress wanting to return will become distressed in the end as their visas expire, or if they lose a job or get sick or have a bereavement or family illness back in Australia that needs their attention.

The definition of arbitrary is:

1. based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.

None of those things you mention appear to be based on random choice or personal whim. They are the result of the arrangements, systems and capacities we currently have. Victoria has said 'we have this many places', etc.

The question is whether there is scientific evidence to prevent someone coming into Australia who has been fully vaccinated by an effective vaccine. Simply saying 'nah, you can't come in' despite evidence suggesting there is little or no risk, could be seen as arbitrary. If the givernment does have good evidence to the contrary, they don't seem to be sharing it.
 

RooFlyer

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The definition of arbitrary is:

1. based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.
None of those things you mention appear to be based on random choice or personal whim.

Agree. As I mentioned above, 'arbitrary' would mean the authorities choosing "You, you, you, you, not you, you, ... etc" based on no set criteria, as opposed to the present system which requires arrivals to spend time in HQ or very similar. Its just another Geoffrey Robertson stunt.
 

hb13

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The definition of arbitrary is:

1. based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.

None of those things you mention appear to be based on random choice or personal whim. They are the result of the arrangements, systems and capacities we currently have. Victoria has said 'we have this many places', etc.

The question is whether there is scientific evidence to prevent someone coming into Australia who has been fully vaccinated by an effective vaccine. Simply saying 'nah, you can't come in' despite evidence suggesting there is little or no risk, could be seen as arbitrary. If the givernment does have good evidence to the contrary, they don't seem to be sharing it.

Actually, if you read what @Seat0B actually said, it is that the government hasn't made any adjustment or improvement to HQ in over a year. And it is pretty damn close to the government simply saying 'nah, you can't come in'. The Victorian government has struggled more than anyone with their pathetic management of hotel quarantine in 2020, causing significantly more deaths than any other state. Yet, they are allowed to decide when to stop international arrivals, when to start again and also allowed to host a tennis tournament with 1200 foreign arrivals, half of which were allowed to have 5-hour long outdoor breaks!

NZ has suffered less than Aus in terms of Covid-19, yet, their residents have never been banned from leaving the country.

The fact that you sit there and defend the government over this, when there is a continually growing list of tens of thousands of Australians stuck trying to get home is beyond me, but they have had a year to fix this. And yes, as it stands, the result is an arbitrary denial of citizens exercising their right of return to Australia, because there are ways around this, and there is data and evidence to prove it.

For a start, there is solid data regarding the vaccines, which have now been in mass use since December last year. Secondly, there is data with regards to vaccine from trials that began in July last year. The vaccines work.

The Federal government has decided to sit and watch while vaccine deployment began all over the world because they were not in a rush. Then, they have completely butchered the program, after a delayed start and are no where near their targets. Then, they have decided to not set targets because of how bad it is all going for them. What's left to defend?
 

MEL_Traveller

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Actually, if you read what @Seat0B actually said, it is that the government hasn't made any adjustment or improvement to HQ in over a year. And it is pretty damn close to the government simply saying 'nah, you can't come in'. The Victorian government has struggled more than anyone with their pathetic management of hotel quarantine in 2020, causing significantly more deaths than any other state. Yet, they are allowed to decide when to stop international arrivals, when to start again and also allowed to host a tennis tournament with 1200 foreign arrivals, half of which were allowed to have 5-hour long outdoor breaks!

NZ has suffered less than Aus in terms of Covid-19, yet, their residents have never been banned from leaving the country.

The fact that you sit there and defend the government over this, when there is a continually growing list of tens of thousands of Australians stuck trying to get home is beyond me, but they have had a year to fix this. And yes, as it stands, the result is an arbitrary denial of citizens exercising their right of return to Australia, because there are ways around this, and there is data and evidence to prove it.

For a start, there is solid data regarding the vaccines, which have now been in mass use since December last year. Secondly, there is data with regards to vaccine from trials that began in July last year. The vaccines work.

The Federal government has decided to sit and watch while vaccine deployment began all over the world because they were not in a rush. Then, they have completely butchered the program, after a delayed start and are no where near their targets. Then, they have decided to not set targets because of how bad it is all going for them. What's left to defend?

Data from Israel is promising, and shows the pfizer vaccine can be highly effective against transmission. However on 10 April they gave a heads-up that the South African variant may potentially be able to 'break through' the pfizer vaccine: Israeli data shows South African variant able to ‘break through’ Pfizer vaccine

Given the majority of Australians have not been vaccinated, and given some strains may be able to break through the current vaccines, it would suggest some form of isolating and monitored quarantine is necessary. As the capacity for HQ is limited - and we are where we are - the decision to continue caps does not appear arbitrary.
 

hb13

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Data from Israel is promising, and shows the pfizer vaccine can be highly effective against transmission. However on 10 April they gave a heads-up that the South African variant may potentially be able to 'break through' the pfizer vaccine: Israeli data shows South African variant able to ‘break through’ Pfizer vaccine

Given the majority of Australians have not been vaccinated, and given some strains may be able to break through the current vaccines, it would suggest some form of isolating and monitored quarantine is necessary. As the capacity for HQ is limited - and we are where we are - the decision to continue caps does not appear arbitrary.

That data is based on a small sample size and it is for transmission - the vaccine is still very good at preventing hospitlisation and death.

So are you saying that it is ok that the government somehow found a way to bring an additional 1200 people for a tennis tournament into the country (with an allowance for 5 hours of fresh air) - but not for Australians stranded overseas?
 

Kimpos

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Agree. As I mentioned above, 'arbitrary' would mean the authorities choosing "You, you, you, you, not you, you, ... etc" based on no set criteria, as opposed to the present system which requires arrivals to spend time in HQ or very similar. Its just another Geoffrey Robertson stunt.
Data from Israel is promising, and shows the pfizer vaccine can be highly effective against transmission. However on 10 April they gave a heads-up that the South African variant may potentially be able to 'break through' the pfizer vaccine: Israeli data shows South African variant able to ‘break through’ Pfizer vaccine

Given the majority of Australians have not been vaccinated, and given some strains may be able to break through the current vaccines, it would suggest some form of isolating and monitored quarantine is necessary. As the capacity for HQ is limited - and we are where we are - the decision to continue caps does not appear arbitrary.
When your booked and paid for flight is cancelled or you lose your seat on a flight that is not cancelled but there's no rhyme or reason for that bump off or you cannot find a seat months out or the only seat is upwards of $22USD return it certainly feels arbitrary.
 

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