Aussies make emotional plea to return home

Exasperated Australians in heart-wrenching binds have vented emotional pleas for the government to urgently lift the cap on overseas arrivals.

A Senate committee scrutinising the federal government’s coronavirus response has heard from citizens suffering intense hardship due to travel bans.

Canberra woman Gina De Ruyter, 24, moved to the Philippines late last year to set up an animal shelter.

When the pandemic hit, she began working out how to ensure the 40 animals were cared for when she returned to Australia.

She then broke her leg in two places, but the initial surgery hasn’t healed.

“It’s been badly infected for two months, just weeping pus all the time,” Ms De Ruyter told the committee on Thursday.

“My leg has swollen up again with pus, but the doctor can’t do anything anymore because all the hospitals are filling up with coronavirus patients.”

The young Canberran is booked on a Friday flight but like so many Australians, fears ticket cancellations that have prevented homecomings.

Peta Stoyanovich’s husband Luke and mother-in-law Stanika are stranded in Serbia.

Mr Stoyanovich received an exemption to travel after his father died in July, with the intention of bringing his 79-year-old mother home.

But three attempts to return to Melbourne have been thwarted and their accommodation finishes on September 30.

They’ve been split up on separate flights but there’s no confidence the mother and son will board the plane.

Peta Stoyanovich is worried her grieving mother-in-law will face airports, transit, hotel quarantine and taxis alone.

“It’s complete madness. It’s absolute madness,” she said through tears.

Mrs Stoyanovich said she was shattered by the loss of confidence in Australia looking after its citizens abroad who had been left at the mercy of airlines.

“Do your bloody job, for God’s sake.”

She said the support available to Australians overseas was disgusting, while the planned weekly rise in the cap on overseas arrivals to 6000 was insulting.

“The cap has abandoned my family and it’s abandoned our citizens,” Mrs Stoyanovich said.

“They are not stranded – they are abandoned by the government.”

On her emotional state, she said: “An overwhelming sense of hopelessness just engulfs me.”

Deanne Vowels, husband Paul and their five children travelled to the UK for a family reunion two days before the travel ban was imposed in March.

The Newcastle family have run out of money and are worried about defaulting on their mortgage after having five flights home cancelled.

“It just feels like a long-term boyfriend cheating on me. I’ve given my life to Australia and in my time of need they have dumped me,” Mrs Vowels said.

The family were told to upgrade to business class, which would have cost $120,000, and government officials suggested setting up a crowdfunding website.

There are about 24,000 Australians overseas who want to return home, with 4000 considered vulnerable.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.