The Double Standards of the Australian Government and the Australia Public Strikes Again
How is it that non-citizen international bands have managed to gain
guaranteed entry into Australia in two months’ time, when Stranded
Australians are already reporting that their flights have been cancelled
as far into the future as August?
How is it that non-citizen international bands have managed to gain exemptions for Australia, when partners have been separated for over a year and struggle to get exemptions to either leave or enter Australia to be with each other?
The Australian public, riled on by biased media reporting and the fear mongering of state and federal Governments, are calling for borders to be closed. Yet, when the entry of sports people/teams and musical acts benefits them, they are thrilled at the conditional flexibility of the international border rules. The public, the media, and the government all see Australia as the ‘lucky country’. They see the entry of international celebrities and the continuation of life as normal as a reward for the hard work they have put into their COVID response team.
Excluding the lengthy lockdown in Melbourne last year, Australia has made easy decisions about COVID and largely opted out of a collective and global responsibility to this worldwide pandemic. They have closed the borders and put the ‘hard work’ on other countries around the world to look after Australia’s own citizens that they have abandoned overseas. Australians are going about life as usual, with the minor inconvenience of checking into restaurants and shops (which very few people actually do). There are very few people wearing masks, socially distancing, practicing proper hand hygiene. That is not hard work.
Hard work is being abandoned by your country and being told that you are no longer a citizen, that you should rot and die overseas, that you are infected - by your family, your friends, the media, and the government. Hard work is losing your job and trying to stay afloat in a country that has not financial support for you, nor does your citizen country. Hard work is trying to find tens of thousands (and up to hundreds of thousands of dollars for families) to get yourself back to your home country. Hard work is developing depression, anxiety, and panic attacks because it’s been almost a year since you’ve been locked out of your country. Hard work is battling suicidal thoughts. Hard work is contracting COVID in the country you were abandoned in while you were waiting for a flight back home. Hard work is having to attend Zoom funerals for your family members who you were unable to get home in time to see, because there are no flights available. Hard work is becoming homeless because you packed up your life to return home, only to have your flight cancelled at the airport. Hard work is being scammed by airlines and fraudulent travel agents as you desperately grasp for anything to get you back home. Hard work is trying to prove to someone again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again that you are in a relationship with someone just so you can enter or leave Australia in order to see them again. Hard work is being told that your dying family member is not a legitimate enough reason to leave or enter Australia. Hard work is being told that your terminal illness is not a legitimate reason to leave or enter Australia. Hard work is watching celebrities and sports people come in and out of Australia as they please, and be embraced by the public, the media, and the government.
So no, Australia is not a lucky country. “Luck” implies a chance outcome. Australia knew exactly what it was doing when it made these easy decisions that removed the human rights of it’s own citizens stranded abroad. It knew exactly what it was doing as it practiced double standards by letting in celebrities before these citizens, before partners, before families, before international students.