We handed the petition to the following MPs on 13 May:
Alex Hawke, the Liberal MP for Mitchell and the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.
Gladys Liu, the Liberal MP for Chisholm in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
Fiona Martin, the Liberal MP for Reid in Sydney.
Michelle Rowland, the Labor MP for Greenway.
To: The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health
Bring Australians in India home - NOW
1. Lift the travel ban on Australian citizens in India, AND
2. Increase repatriation flights into appropriate quarantine facilities.
The Government's abandonment of Australian citizens in India is immoral, illegal and racist.
Immoral: Now is the time for global action and responsibility. India’s health systems are straining under the current crisis. Meanwhile Australian health systems can and must look after our citizens.
Illegal: The determination made under the Biosecurity Act is unlawful because it breaches safeguards in section 477 of the Act; it is also unconstitutional.
Racist: Australia has never banned any citizens from Europe, UK and USA even when its pro rata infection rates were higher than India's at present.
Why is this important?
There are 9,000 Australian citizens abandoned by our Government, stuck in India. They will be criminalised, face fines of $66,000 and a 5-year jail term if they attempt to return home.
There are 675,000 people of Indian origin in Australia. We are an important and growing part of the community here, and make significant contributions to the wellbeing of this society.
We ask the Government of Australia - why should we labour to support this Government? The White Australia policy was renounced in 1973, or was it?
Infection rates in the USA and UK peaked in January 2021 at 89 and 76 cases per 100,000. India's rates today are 27 cases per 100,000. Yet there is a ban on citizens travelling from India today. No other Aussies have faced this indignity.
India's health and administrative systems are buckling under the care of Indian citizens. Yet one of the richest countries in the world says, "look after ours as well, thanks".
Morrison's government has had 12 months to plan for quarantine facilities in response to desperate calls from Australian citizens stranded all over the world. Furthermore they promised to bring all Australians stranded overseas home by Christmas 2020. This week, our government has declared, effectively, that they are ok for Australian citizens in India to risk death.
We demand that the Federal Government step up, increase repatriation flights, repurpose quarantine facilities, and bring our most at-risk citizens home. NOW.
Friends, demand that our government treat the disease, not punish the person. Hold our government accountable to ALL Australians.
ACT NOW:Sign this petition and share with your friends and family
How it will be delivered
When we reach 1000, we will deliver this petition to Greg Hunt, and key politicians who represent large Indian communities in their electorates.