12 May 2021

 

There are 9,500 Australians currently stranded in India who are registered with DFAT to return home, including 900 vulnerable Australians and 173 unaccompanied children. Instead of immediately organising repatriation flights and quarantine facilities to get these stranded Aussies home, what is the Prime Minister's first course of action? He criminalises them. He threatens to lock them up if they try to return home. How deeply unpatriotic.

The Australian Indian community was the first in line to lend a hand during the bushfires when the Prime Minister was off holidaying in Hawaii. Anita and Parminder and the Hindu Society of Queensland in Boondall rallied together to send food and financial donations to communities devastated by the bushfires. Now, our Indian Australians need our support more than ever before, and the Morrison government are turning their backs on them.

I am an Australia India Youth Dialogue alumnus, and the daily updates I have been receiving from my fellow alumni in India are horrific. The COVID rate in Delhi is 19.1 per cent, with 12,651 new cases in just the past few hours. There are bodies washing up in the Ganges. There are makeshift crematoriums set up in the street. They are running out of oxygen. Indian Australians need urgent action from the Morrison government, not a total breach of faith and duty. I will continue to represent, fight for and support you.