How can the Australian Government safely scrap the caps?
Here is a plan of action that we think would enable the caps to be removed and Australian’s would be both free to return home, and to leave again (in a less-limited way).
STEPS TO SOLVE THE CURRENT CAP CRISIS:
Take federal ownership of the federal border and co-ordinate a federal response that enables the following …
Massively scale up the quarantine system. Have the ADF more involved and train 1,000s more staff to be able to help in the processing of incoming quarantining passengers.
Use remote & regional airports capable of taking large aircraft like Alice Springs, Yulara (Uluru), RAAF Amberley, Cairns, Canberra, RAAF Richmond and so on. Build quarantine "camps" if the locations don't have suitable facilities.
- Let incoming flights drop passengers at these quarantine bases and then continue on to the “destination” city SYD, BNE, MEL etc. to drop off and pick up cargo and departing passengers.
Continue the use of the established quarantine hotels in the capital cities so as not to reduce capacity.
Create an online booking system for the available quarantine places, similar to what New Zealand is doing effectively. No-one will be able to board a flight without a confirmed quarantine place.
If these steps were taken, we would not need caps, people would not be getting endlessly “bumped”, planes would not be flying with only 30 passengers on a plane designed for 300+.
The caps would not be needed as the precise number of quarantine places available would control the amount of people able to fly to Australia. An orderly queue would effectively form, meaning people would have certainty for when they can fly home, planes would be closer to full (albeit with less frequency no doubt).
The added benefit of this system is that people would be able to leave too, provided they could show that they had an available booking for quarantine on their return. Priority would be given to people that are wanting to return and are booking a flight originating out of Australia. For example, 80 % of quarantine spaces would be for people originating their flight outside Australia, and 20% for those looking to book a return flight out of Australia.
The benefits of this system are too large to ignore:
- 40,000+ Aussies who want to come home will be able to book a flight with certainty.
- Collective mental health will be improved.
- Tourism would be able to start in a limited way, once stranded Australians are home.
- Australian air industry staff will be re-employed.
The current restrictions are creating a public health emergency greater than the risk of misfortune from contracting Covid19 and this is not acceptable.
Yes, this will cost the Federal Government money, but if taxes are not paid so the people can have the government spend money when and where it needs to be spent - then what are we doing wrong as a society? People will still be required to pay for quarantine, so the government will not bear the full cost.
All Australians adversely affected by the restrictions on international travel, especially those that can’t currently get back to Australia implore the Federal Government to step up and consider putting in place a system as described in points 1 - 3 above.
base image credit: ABC Australia
Please join this site if you are affected by the caps in any way, be it stranded overseas, or someone in Australia that can't see their loved ones, or can't leave to see their loved ones and so on.