Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said that arrangements for the return of international students to Australia must treat students with respect and not subject them to burdensome quarantine arrangements that will not apply to others.
Senator Faruqi said:
“The current patchwork of state and territory plans, with Commonwealth oversight, are confusing and alarming for students, and do not provide any real certainty about arrangements for students’ return.
“I’m worried by Queensland’s plans to force fully-vaccinated international students into several weeks of paid quarantine at purpose-built facilities, while Australian citizens and other visa-holders are permitted to walk straight off the plane.
“Not only would this have a clearly discriminatory effect, it would send a very negative signal to international students about their value in our community.
“We must treat these students fairly and avoid a situation where they are put through burdensome quarantine arrangements that do not apply to others. They should be treated equally and with respect.
“Last year, we saw international students abandoned in the government’s response to the pandemic, including through a lack of access to financial support. Thousands of students have nevertheless decided to stick with their studies in Australia.
“I have written to Minister Tudge to ask that the Commonwealth works closely with its state and territory counterparts to ensure that international students do not face discrimination upon their return to Australia.”