In their 1976 classic Hotel California, The Eagles sang of a haunted hotel where “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”. In an ironic twist of fate, we appeared to have created a 21st-century Hotel California, University Australia, where international students will be free to come and go from our shores in just a few weeks, while Australian citizens will not be allowed to leave until at least September 17.
If the Morrison Government was motivated solely by ensuring the health and wellbeing of the Australian people, then the nation’s borders would either be open or closed depending upon the global and domestic health situation.
Instead by creating this two tier system that takes unnecessary risks solely in pursuit of university profits, the Morrison government has shown where its priorities truly lay.
Back in early February, Sky News Australia host Peta Credlin said “I hope we are not motivated by the dollar and nothing else here” when talking about the Morrison government keeping Australia’s borders open to China during the height of the crisis.
Yet five months later here we are once again, pursuing the dollar by allowing international students entry, while Australian citizens are not allowed to leave the country, even if they observe the mandatory 14 day quarantine period and take every precaution.
It’s clear from a brief look around the world that international travel is not ready to resume under these circumstances, cases globally are still hitting new record highs and the virus is showing a concerning resurgence even in China, as fears of a second wave in Beijing continue to rise.
Meanwhile in India — the second largest national source for international students in Australia — the number of new cases per day reached a new record high in the past few days.
Australian’s have worked hard and sacrificed a great deal to contain the virus so successfully. That world beating progress should not be risked for the dollars international students bring to our shores, the stakes are much higher than that and the cost of another outbreak could be disastrous.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.