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Workers call for RAAF VIP planes to be used to repatriate 25,000 stranded Australians | Anthony Albanese



Anthony Albanese has called for RAAF VIP planes including planes reserved for the prime minister and governor-general to be used to fly home some 25,000 Australians stranded overseas.

The call comes as state leaders put pressure on the federal government to set up Commonwealth quarantine facilities to help repatriate Australians stranded overseas due to limited international arrival measures.

Pressure is mounting on the federal government to address the issue, with Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram revealing that more Australians have been allowed to leave the country, potentially increasing numbers stranded overseas.

Current restrictions limiting arrivals in Australia to around 4,000 per week have been created to ease pressure on quarantine systems of state and territorial hotels.

State leaders argue that they cannot increase their intake with the minimal support from the commune they have received so far.

The federal opposition leader criticized the Coalition for inaction on the issue.

Scott Morrison continues to give everything to states and territories and will not accept responsibility, Albanese said. He is clearly in charge of our national boarders. He is clearly responsible for quarantine issues.

What we do know is that Queensland, the Northern Territory, and Western Australia have all said that if the Commonwealth helps with the quarantine issues for which they are responsible, then they will surely encourage more people to come.

The only thing missing here is not the hotel space, its leadership.

To help resolve the issue, Labor leader called for RAAF VIP planes to be deployed to return the stranded Australians.

However, Albanese did not explain how the move would address the exact limits of arrival numbers, or where passengers would be quarantined, but said the federal government had the resources to determine this.

Political squabbles over international lids follow revelations from the ABF that exclusions to leave the nation have increased over the past month.

The ABF commissioner said his department had approved 47,000 requests for citizens to leave Australia since a ban was imposed in March, marking a increase by about 13,000 approvals since 16 August.

In an interview with ABC earlier on Tuesday, Outram said about 16,000 applications had been rejected to date, adding that 99% of applications were answered within 48 hours.

From the approvals given since the start of the pandemic, about 18,000 Australians had left the country in August alone, Outram revealed, noting of course only adding to the situation of the growing number of Australians stranded overseas.

Many of them actually took exceptions from me to travel overseas in the first place, and while we advised them that it might be difficult to return, of course, you can never predict how long it will take last, so I certainly hope they are back on this Christmas side, Outram said.

Responding to calls for federal quarantine facilities raised by the WA and NT governments this week Outram said he imagined Australian Medical Assistance Teams were quite outstretched and would be unavailable in the numbers needed to work in a federal facility. .

Boundaries in hotels are the critical point that I do not have the authority to lead states and territories to do everything, he said.

The Commissioner rejected the suggestion that the Commonwealth was responsible for the stranded Australians, insisting that states needed to increase their arrival receipts.

Outrams comments follow a plea by the chief executive of Tourism Accommodation Australia for more hotels to be used in quarantine, as many of them were in 10% capacity a stark contrast from the start of the pandemic when the Sydneys hotel quarantine system was able to accept 3,000 arrivals per day.

The lids were then inserted tightly by the national cabinet in July.

Sydney Airport handles around 350 international passengers a day, while Perth receives approximately 525 arrivals per week, with Brisbane and Adelaide each taking 500 people per week. Melbourne currently does not arrive, while Canberra and Darwin accept occasional flights.

On Tuesday, Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said he was not ready to reopen Melbourne Airport for international achievements, saying at this stage, our focus should be elsewhere and I apologize for any challenge.

Flights have been reduced by less than 30 passengers, and even less by four economy passengers, as airlines prioritize more expensive tickets to remain profitable below the border.

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