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Local News - Victoria

Wait goes on for stranded Victorians as tennis players touch down


The government also confirmed that most of the 105,000 applications for border-crossing permits received since Monday were from Victorians with more than 70,000 residents of the state asking permission to return to their homes under the “traffic light” system.

More than 82 per cent of applications were from green zones, 9 per cent from orange zones and the remainder were from people seeking worker permits or trying to transit through orange and red zones.

One Victorian stranded on Sydney’s northern beaches told The Age on Thursday of his growing frustration with his home state’s government while a leading epidemiologist said health authorities should be able to cope with large numbers of travellers returning to isolation or home quarantine.

Victoria recorded no new cases of COVID-19 in the community on Thursday for the eighth consecutive day and Mr Andrews said he hoped to be able to announce in the coming days that some postcodes in Sydney and Brisbane would no longer be red zones, effectively shrinking the areas from which travellers are banned from returning.

But Mr Andrews could not provide stranded Victorians with a timetable to return.

“I understand it’s not easy,” Mr Andrews said. “The moment the public health teams are confident that we can reduce what is a very big red zone to down to a smaller concentrated group of local government areas, and therefore release into an orange [area], many many Victorians, we will do that.”

The Premier defended the enforcement of the border regime before the players and their entourages began touching down at Tullamarine Airport on Thursday evening, arguing that many cities in the Asia-Pacific region might take the opportunity to permanently poach the event if it was not held in Melbourne this year.

“There are so many cities around the world that would do anything to have one of those grand slam events anchored in their city – many of whom would build a brand new facility from scratch to do it – you don’t invite that,” Mr Andrews said.

Professor Catherine Bennett, chair of epidemiology at Deakin University.

Professor Catherine Bennett, chair of epidemiology at Deakin University. Credit:Jason South

Deakin University chair of epidemiology Catherine Bennett called on the state government to allow stranded Victorians in Sydney to return and complete their 14 days of isolation at home.

“We used home isolation for all positive cases and their contacts right throughout our response within Victoria and people complied sufficiently enough to shut down the second wave,” Professor Bennett said.

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“I don’t know why we now think people won’t do that, or back that up with enforcement. We had 8000 people in isolation at any one time [during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic]. We now have people who have a very, very low risk of being a case or being exposed stuck in Sydney.”

Melbourne businessman John Frostell, stranded in Sydney’s northern beaches, has been trying for 10 days without success to obtain an exemption from the Victorian government to return home.

The East Brunswick resident said he was frustrated by the Victorian government’s failure to define set criteria for COVID cases in NSW and Queensland that would trigger the relaxation of border rules.

Melbourne man John Frostell remains stranded in Sydney.

Melbourne man John Frostell remains stranded in Sydney.

“It’s still interesting that nobody is getting an answer as to why the tennis players can come in but nobody else can,” Mr Frostell said.

“People have suggested that I work on my backhand, put in a wildcard application.

“But why can’t we all come back, do iso at home until we throw back a negative test?”

Sandgren tweeted on Thursday that he had originally been barred from the flight to Melbourne because of his positive test, but said later said he had been allowed on board.

“COVID positive for thanksgiving. COVID positive on Monday. Yet PCR tests are the ‘gold standard’? At least I get to keep my points,” he wrote.

He then tweeted: “Wow I’m on the plane. Maybe I just hold my breath too long … [Australian Open tournament director] Craig Tiley is a wizard.”

Opposition frontbench MP Matthew Guy slammed the Premier for prioritising the arrivals of 1200 Australian Open players and staff ahead of Victorians who’ve been for weeks stuck in NSW and Queensland.

“We’ve got Victorians stuck in NSW, we’re literally talking about people on the other side of the Murray River,” Mr Guy said.

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Local News - Victoria

Hopes grow for stranded Victorians



Positive COVID news in NSW sparks hopes that stranded Victorians could be heading home soon while Queensland and the Commonwealth both defend Victoria’s hotel quarantine management.



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Local News - Victoria

Victorians stranded in Queensland must wait one more day for news on returning home


He thanked Victorians and Queenslanders who had been tested over the past few days.

Victoria recorded no new locally acquired cases of coronavirus and six new cases in hotel quarantine on Sunday. One of those cases was an airline crew member.

The state now has 45 active cases, having recorded four straight days of zero cases within the community.

Victoria’s COVID response commander Jeroen Weimar said international air flight crews had one of the highest hit rates for the virus.

He said more than 16,000 international airline crew members had been tested over the past four weeks and 11 had returned positive results.

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Mr Weimar said it was the highest hit rate of any cohort and the results confirmed the need for the rigorous testing regime.

He said none of the new cases in hotel quarantine were the UK strain of the virus, but that there had been five cases of the more contagious strain within the quarantine system in the last few weeks.

More than 23,000 tests were processed on Saturday as it was revealed a woman recently released from a Melbourne hotel after a 10-day stay had tested positive in Queensland to the highly contagious UK strain.

Both federal and Queensland health authorities came to the defence of Victoria, saying the state’s health officials had acted in accordance with quarantining rules.

Mr Foley said he was satisfied that the correct guidelines had been followed when the woman, who tested positive in Queensland on Friday, was released from a Melbourne hotel on January 5.

On Saturday, at least a dozen flights landed from Brisbane into Melbourne with passengers allowed to isolate at home – despite the Department of Health closing borders to Greater Brisbane at midnight Friday.

Meanwhile, frustrated members of the public who have been waiting a week for test results from Melbourne’s Frankston Hospital have been promised results by Monday.

Peninsula Health confirmed that delays from an “unplanned IT outage” this week with private pathology provider Dorevitch was to blame for the still outstanding results.

Earlier this week the Department of Health said there had been 10,000 negative test results caught up in the IT glitch but insinuated all had since been forwarded to people who were tested.

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Local News - Victoria

Stranded Victorians vent frustration over NSW border closure


A number of other people who contacted The Age said they had called the hotline multiple times and were given conflicting advice each time, and complained that staff who answered the hotline did not know how the rules applied to their individual case.

More than 4000 Victorians and their dependants have applied for exemptions to allow them to cross the border and the Premier said he hoped to announce within days more pathways for stranded residents to return home, with just 400 exemptions granted so far allowing travellers to return.

The state government says it has drafted in hundreds more staff to process exemption applications and was keeping in touch with applicants but the state opposition demanded more be done to bring residents home.

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The Premier used his first press conference of the year to intensify his push for heightened precautions at Australia’s entry points against the growing threat from a mutated strain of COVID-19 that has forced Britain back into lockdown.

Mr Andrews said he would go to Friday’s hastily convened meeting of national cabinet hoping to convince other premiers and the Prime Minister to isolate all arriving international flight crew, test hotel quarantine workers every day and to insist on swabs for all inbound passengers before they boarded their planes for Australia.

Victoria recorded no new coronavirus cases on Thursday, after conducting more than 32,700 tests, while residents of three Brisbane suburbs were urged to get tested after a worker in Queensland’s hotel quarantine program tested positive to the virus.

Victoria’s mystery case, which may have been acquired at either the Boxing Day sales at Chadstone shopping centre or the Test match cricket at the MCG, has been genomically linked to Sydney’s northern beaches cluster, although no chain of transmission has been established.

The discovery came as authorities released a further alert over the mystery case, asking people who visited Zara in Chadstone between 6am and 1.30pm on December 26 to get tested immediately and isolate.

Chadstone retailer Superdry, whose store at the shopping centre was visited by the man on Boxing Day, said on Thursday that it had not been contacted by the Department of Health and Human Services since an alert was issued on Wednesday that thousands of shoppers were potentially exposed to the virus.

Victoria’s COVID-19 response commander, Jeroen Weimar, said phone data of the man in his 30s from Vermont South who returned a positive test on Wednesday was used to identify information around his journey through the popular south-eastern suburbs shopping centre.

The Premier said he hoped “to make some announcements” on the status of the Victoria-NSW border next week, depending on developments in NSW.

“We’ll do everything we can to get you home as soon as possible but I cannot have a situation where there is a pathway home for you, and you bring the virus with you,” Mr Andrews said.

“We apologise and acknowledge the inconvenience, but that inconvenience is nothing compared to a third wave, because that will be so hard for every single Victorian.

“We need to do everything we can do to stop that.”

Ms Holmes told of her family’s failed attempt to get home from Ballina in northern NSW, where they were holidaying with relatives, in the hours before Victoria’s border shut.

“We couldn’t get any flights, we were calling the DHHS hotline and couldn’t get hold of them,” she said.

Ms Holmes said both she and her husband were self employed and earning no income while stranded, and were desperate to come back to Victoria to reunite with their two dogs, and to ensure their daughter can start year l.

“We didn’t budget for this and it’s a massive disadvantage financially,” she said. “We’re basically refugees in our own country. We can’t even set foot into our own state.”

Opposition frontbencher David Southwick accused the Andrews government of turning its back on Victorians in NSW.

“Daniel Andrews must immediately allocate whatever resources are necessary to clear the border and home quarantine application backlog,” Mr Southwick said.

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Victorians stranded in Queensland can take direct route south


“You stop twice on the way, you stop for 15 minutes, you have a mask on, you keep your social distance,” he said.

But although the Department of Health and Human Services is discouraging people from making lengthy stopovers it is not advising travellers to make a Cannonball Run-style dash across NSW.

Testing chief Jeroen Weimar giving a COVID-19 update in Melbourne.

Testing chief Jeroen Weimar giving a COVID-19 update in Melbourne.Credit:Paul Jeffers

The department’s website says people will be allowed to stop in NSW for toilet breaks, food and drink, or petrol. “However, you shouldn’t go to the shops or visit others on the way home,” the advice says.

“Please only stop when necessary. Keep a record of your stops. You should wear a face mask in all public places. Minimise your interaction with other people as much as possible and keep at least 1.5 metres distance from others at all times.”

Mr Weimar said it made sense for drivers to avoid unnecessary detours on their way south.

“Given the new exposure information in NSW, with an exposure site in Orange, with potential exposure into Broken Hill, we’re not going to encourage people to dwell overnight and make the kind of journey you’d want to make,” Mr Weimar said.

Birdsville Hotel general manager Ben Fullagar says it has received strong bookings from people travelling through the outback to avoid NSW.

Birdsville Hotel general manager Ben Fullagar says it has received strong bookings from people travelling through the outback to avoid NSW.Credit:Birdsville Hotel

“I appreciate no one wants to drive in a straight shot across NSW and clearly we’ll balance their safety.”

The TAC says drowsy drivers are responsible for about 20 per cent of Victoria’s traffic accidents and recommends a break every two hours.

Birdsville Hotel general manager Ben Fullagar said the Queensland town of about 115 people rarely had visitors in the middle of its sweltering summer – it was 43.5 on Saturday – but they had 73 bookings between Boxing Day and the new year.

“It’s purely people trying to get home,” Mr Fullagar said. “Not by choice, purely because it’s one of the only routes available to them to get home between Queensland, South Australia and Victoria without going through NSW.”

But Mr Fullagar said “a lot” of travellers were not prepared for the driving conditions, which required a four-wheel-drive.

“We’re very excited to have people through at this time of year, but it is a little bit of a double-edged sword if people don’t do their homework,” he said.

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The DHHS has scaled up its team working through the applications for Victorians stuck in NSW, with authorities assessing 1100 out of the 2800 made since the border shut on New Year’s Eve.

Mr Weimar said the department was prioritising those requiring urgent medical attention, and for compassionate reasons.

Families with schoolchildren who need to return in time for the start of term one on January 28 will be assessed by next Wednesday – the last day they would need to leave NSW to complete their 14-day quarantine before school starts.

Opposition leader Michael O’Brien urged the Victorian government to prioritise families stranded in NSW with schoolchildren, as well as those seeking to return home for compassionate reasons.

“People had a right to expect that a ‘green zone’ [in NSW] designated by the Victorian government as such would be safe, and to have the rug pulled out from under them so quickly was just unfair,” Mr O’Brien said.

“And now we see a lot of bureaucracy and a lot of confusion about what it takes to get these people back. The government needs to apply common sense: get these people home, get them home safely.”

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Australian News

Victorians stranded: COVID-19 border closure


Hundreds of Victorians stranded in New South Wales have been told they will only be allowed home if they have “genuine reasons.”

At least 1500 exemption applications are currently before Victorian authorities, after the state slammed its borders shut to NSW on Friday.

It comes as New South Wales records eight new cases on Sunday. Victoria recorded three – all of which are connected to the Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant in bayside Melbourne’s Black Rock.

Victoria’s COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said as the level of virus circulating in NSW continued to be of “genuine concern”, the exemptions were being triaged and worked through in priority order, but could take up to 48 hours to process.

Applicants are being warned to prepare for their request to be denied, as the state heavily restricts who can enter.

“Anybody who finds themselves in NSW who believes they have an important reason to get back to Victoria is invited to apply. That does not mean you will be granted an exemption,” Mr Weimar said.

“We will only be granting exemptions for people who put in genuine medical, emergency, family, hardship reasons to get back in. There will be conditions applied to those individuals … (including) mandatory hotel quarantine.

“I sympathise with the people locked out … But we have to take a view about what’s right for the wider Victorian community.”

At least 60,000 people cut short their holidays to return to Victoria before the hard border closure on New Year’s Day, which Mr Weimer said he had greatly appreciated.

“(They) managed to get back under severe hardship with a lot of inconvenience in that time,” he said.

“When we stood up three or four days ago, we said we were increasingly concerned about the risk of COVID exposure, (in NSW).

“So I thank the 60,000 people who made the right decision to cut their journeys and to come back into the state. I am confident the vast majority will follow through and get tested as required.”



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Australian News

Coal sailors stranded for months


Sailors aboard ships laden with Australia coal who have been stranded off China’s coast for months on end are “prisoners” of a trade war between the two countries, a union body says.

The estimated 1600 seafarers aboard 80 ships carrying the cargo are suffering with “no end in sight”, according to the Australian co-ordinator of the International Transport Workers Federation, Dean Summers.

“Seafarers have now been on there, for some as long as 20 months without a day off,” Mr Summers says.

“They’re just sitting outside the harbours in China and all they want to do is go in and discharge their coal and go back into the international market, but China’s not taking them and they won’t allow those ships to go to other countries to crew change.

“Those seafarers are really prisoners of war.”

Australian coal exports to China were worth $14 billion in 2019.

The seafarers are among 400,000 already stuck on ships around the world as due to the COVID-19 crisis there is no opportunity to disembark, fly home and do a crew swap.

But the trade stoush with China, which has unofficially banned Australian coal since October, “has added insult to injury”, Mr Summers says.

“China has started this some months ago, maybe five or six months ago, by preventing coal ships – that’s international ships laden with Australian coal – from coming into their harbours and discharging their coal.”

Mr Summers said seafarers were already exhausted due to their inability to get off the ships because of COVID-19 restrictions.

“It’s a crisis on top of a crisis, if you like,” he said.

“Sixteen hundred seafarers are suffering terribly and there’s no end in sight.”

The sailors are primarily from developing nations including India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

Mr Summers said they are “at their wits’ end”.

“They’ve been there working every single day, sometimes, usually up to 12 hours a day for 20 months, away from their families at the most tumultuous time.

“It is just tortuous.”

Mr Summers says the Australian government should lobby to help alleviate the crew’s suffering.

It should also push China to agree to let those ships exit the queue and go to Japan, for example, he said, so they can change over and bring a fresh crew on board before re-entering the queue.

“Something’s got to be done and China’s got to be told,” he said.

“Humanitarian rights aren’t high on China’s agenda but this is an international issue brought on deliberately by China to bring some sort of leverage to the trade war.

“Let these guys go, do your trade war with Australia, if that’s what’s going to happen, but don’t make people deliberately suffer – it’s a horrible thing.”

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been contacted for comment.



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DFAT accused of changing stranded Aussies’ statuses


When Michael McEwen made the tough call to stick it out overseas in the middle of the pandemic, he never thought it would turn into a decision he would bitterly regret.

The IT consultant, 30, has been looking to return home to Sydney permanently after two-and-a-half years working in Thailand.

“Expats overseas all have different reasons and responsibilities that mean they may have been unable to return earlier in 2020. My whole life is here,” he told NCA NewsWire.

“The message was that if you’ve got work and income, stay put where you are. No one would have predicted it to be so hard to get back now.”

When Mr McEwen was contacted by a DFAT representative on November 23 for a three-minute phone call, he confirmed he wanted to come home.

Three days later, the Australian embassy in Thailand sent a call-out for expressions of interest for repatriation flights.

Mr McEwen said he did not receive the email.

After noticing warnings from Australian expats online, he logged onto the DFAT website to discover his status had been changed to ‘not looking to return’ to Australia.

Services Australia has been calling overseas Australians to update their statuses and, with thousands remaining overseas, gauge the urgency of individuals’ need to return.

Mr McEwen is one of a number who say their status was changed despite making clear they wanted to return home.

He has accused the government of deliberately downplaying the numbers to help meet its pledge to return as many Australians as possible.

“They’re trying to cover up the fact that Australian citizens overseas have been abandoned by our own government in the middle of a pandemic,” he claimed.

“If they weren’t, then she wouldn’t have changed my status to not looking to return. I made it crystal clear I’m looking to return in January.”

Foreign Minister Marise Payne conceded the repatriation process had been “difficult” but “absolutely rejected” claims DFAT had doctored the numbers.

“Let me be very clear: DFAT will not remove any Australians from its registration database without their consent,” she said.

“We have been seeking information from those Australians to ensure that we are able to assist them with the most up to date and timely information.

“This is a very complex process to assist Australians who are in very difficult circumstances.”

Senator Payne said 43,800 Australians had returned from overseas since mid-September, including more than 17,000 who had been registered.

But Labor home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally claimed her office had been “contacted all weekend” by Australians complaining they had been removed from the lists.

“This looks like a Prime Minister who is attempting to cook the books, so that he can stand up in a few days time and say everyone who wants to come home has come home,” she said.

“It’s really quite tragic. It’s infuriating as well. These are our fellow citizens, (and) if there’s any Australian value then it’s don’t leave your mates behind.”

The federal government has moved to double capacity at the Northern Territory’s Howard Springs quarantine centre.

The Prime Minister said the government had facilitated 77 flights outside of commercial arrangements to return Australians home directly.

He also confirmed Border Force had approved 29,416 travel exemptions for returning Australians.

A senate inquiry last month heard efforts to repatriate Australians had been hampered by the closure of Melbourne Airport during Victoria’s lockdown, which lasted almost four months.

Victoria resumed its repatriation program on Monday.

The tearing down of hard state borders would also free-up quarantine capacity for Australians returning from overseas, the committee heard.

Labor has called for the government to set up a federally-run surge facility to return stranded Australians before the northern hemisphere winter.

Former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd has demanded his successor Scott Morrison apologise for claiming he had been granted a special travel exemption.

The opposition pressed Mr Morrison in question time on why former prime minister Tony Abbott and ex-minister Alexander Downer had been able to leave and re-enter Australia multiple times.

Mr Morrison said he was “surprised” Labor had chosen the attack line, claiming Mr Rudd had also been granted an exemption.

But Mr Rudd lashed the claim as “an utter falsehood”.

“Morrison claimed in the parliament today that I have obtained exemptions to travel in and out of Australia, taking quarantine places from other Australians,” he tweeted.

“That is an utter falsehood. I haven’t left Queensland since March. Morrison has misled the parliament and he should apologise.”



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Stranded Aussie slams price of pandemic rescue flight as ‘ransom money’


A woman has described the exorbitant prices being charged for rescue flights for Australians stranded overseas due to the coronavirus pandemic as “ransom money”.

An outraged Dr Alyse Brown made the claim on Twitter as she shared a picture of pricing for a one-way Qantas business class flight from London to Darwin on November 11 that totalled an eye-watering £4848 – or more than $A8900.

Those fares for herself and partner, plus the $5000 hotel quarantine bill they would both need to stump up on arrival home, meant they would be spending more than $22,000 to get back on home soil.

“I just got an email from @Dfat offering my partner and I a repatriation flight home. 2 seats $17452 plus quarantine $5000 will cost us $22452,” the Cambridge University academic wrote.

“@ScottMorrison that’s not an offer of help, that’s ransom money,” she continued, accidentally tagging the wrong Scott Morrison account.

When asked by another Twitter user why she booked in business class, Dr Brown explained: “An email was sent to thousands of us at 5am most of us login only to see the business class on offer. It (’s) a kick in the guts.”

The economy option would have cost $2500 had there been any tickets left, she said.

Thousands of Australian nationals living or travelling overseas have been forced to wait months for the chance to return home due to locked-down borders and caps on international arrivals.

In September almost 27,000 people had registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade seeking to come home, while it was estimated there were 100,000 Australians living overseas.

There are about 30,000 living in the UK alone.

Many have been frustrated by frequent cancellations from commercial airlines bound by travel caps and hard border closures in some states such as Western Australia and Queensland.

Last month Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the national cap would increase to 5865 people a week in November, up from 4000, after Western Australia agreed to take an extra 140 returnees each week and Queensland 150.

“The most effective way to get Australians home is to increase these caps,” he said on October 23.

Australian Human Rights Commission president Rosalind Croucher revealed in Senate Estimates in October it had received “a number” of human rights complaints about the travel cap.

Among the complaints were struggles of reuniting with family and children and citizens being excluded from returning to their own country.



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16-year-old Aussie boy stranded 17,000km from family


A pair of Australian parents are stranded 17,000km away from their 16-year-old son after he caught a flight back to Brisbane and they were left in Wales.

The Lovelock family of four have been living in the UK for several years, in a small town in Wales, but have been wanting to return to Brisbane, Queensland, for a while now.

The two parents, Kelli and Carl Lovelock, left their jobs, ended their lease and packed everything into shipping containers in anticipation of returning to Australia.

Their teenage son, Oliver, boarded a flight and arrived in Australia a week ago. But his family is now stuck — essentially homeless.

“Wherever we can find a bed, we go,” concerned father Carl Lovelock told news.com.au, speaking from a hotel room in Wales.

It comes as Australia changed the travel cap on September 25 from 4000 to 6000 travellers a week — but it’s not nearly enough, according to some.

RELATED: 30,000 Aussies in UK may not get home by Christmas

RELATED: Stranded Aussie family faces homelessness, no savings left

We’re getting “increasingly nervous about the flight situation,” Mr Lovelock said.

The family have already been bumped off three flights; first, a Qantas flight in June (which they had booked a year in advance) and then an Emirates flight they were supposed to have boarded last month.

He said they were given just six days notice and by then it was too late.

“By the time we were notified by Emirates we had already resigned from our jobs, given notice on our rental property and were literally half way through packing all our personal possessions into a sea container,” Mr Lovelock said.

He booked with a third airline company, Cathay Pacific, but three times a charm didn’t apply here.

“Those tickets were cancelled by Cathay less than 10 days later,” he said.

SEPARATED ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE WORLD

With their two kids, 18-year-old Amy and 16-year-old Oliver, Mr and Mrs Lovelock were concerned about their schooling.

Mr and Mrs Lovelock were particularly concerned about Oliver, who hasn’t been in a classroom since March because of the UK’s COVID-19 situation. They wanted him to come to Australia as soon as possible so he could continue his education.

“My wife was able to secure a ticket for our son (to Australia) travelling alone. We were desperate,” Mr Lovelock said.

Oliver hopped on a plane by himself and arrived in Brisbane a week ago.

He is now waiting in a quarantine hotel, with no idea when his parents and sister will return home.

Although Oliver has grandparents in Brisbane, his immediate family are still distressed.

“As a family we’re not a cohesive unit and we can‘t wait to be under the same roof again,” Mr Lovelock said.

“Lots of tears, lots of stress.”

OVERBOOKED FLIGHTS

The family have just booked tickets with a fourth airline company, Etihad, and are due to land in Australia at the end of the month. But they’re not holding out hope.

There’s “a very good chance we won’t get there (to Australia),” Kelli Lovelock said.

“To say it’s a lottery is an understatement.”

She explained the Russian roulette process of booking a plane seat.

“All the airlines are currently selling tickets to Australia (to land in Brisbane) – as if there are no caps.

“They’re booking full flights – taking everybody’s money.”

She’s also frustrated by the refund policy, with airlines taking months at a time to return the family’s money.

“It took us 10-12 weeks for the QANTAS refund,” she said. “They (airlines) take money out of your account within three minutes and it takes three months to get the refund.”

And with both her and her husband out of a job, they can’t afford to wait for the refund, with tickets costing 800 pounds (AU$1400) each.

“All our stuff (is) sitting on a ship in the middle of heaven knows where. It’s due in Brisbane at the end of October,” Mr Lovelock put in.

“If that flight is cancelled, our shipping container is going to sit on the wharf. We won‘t be there to pick it up,”

HOMELESS

Kelli, Carl and Amy Lovelock are essentially homeless while they wait for their flight.

Amy is staying at her uncle’s place while Mr and Mrs Lovelock are hopping between hotels and friends’ houses.

“So in the meantime, we are homeless, sofa surfing, unemployed and feeling totally invisible to anyone in any position of power and influence in Australia,” Mr Lovelock said.

Continue the conversation | alex.turner-cohen@news.com.au | @AlexTurnerCohen





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