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Shuttling the Australians stuck in Wuhan to Christmas Island was already a bad plan, but now they have to pay for the privilege.
Christmas has come surprisingly early for the Coalition, as they’ve spun a rampant virus into a sales opportunity. In a desperate attempt to make their reanimated white elephant turn a profit, they’re shuffling the 600 Australians stuck in the Wuhan epicentre to Christmas Island.
What’s more, those who will be forcefully redirected to Christmas Island will be slugged $1000 for the privilege. They’ll also be required to sign a waiver and agree to be kept at the detention centre for 14 days. After those two weeks, they’ll be dropped off in Perth, leaving the citizens to make their own way back to wherever they hail from.
According to Peter Dutton, the plan is solid and has “all been rehearsed – the Army and Border Force have gone through all of that detail.”
Dutton defended the plan, saying that he “can’t clear out a hospital in Sydney or Melbourne to isolate people.”
Fairfax spoke to physiotherapist Bon Lee, a Sydneysider stuck in Hubei with his wife and child.
“I just want to keep my options open … The main thing is safety for the people, my family, my patients. I also need to weigh up risks of going to Christmas Island,” he said.
“It’s great for quarantine to be far away from everything, but if something bad happens, the closest hospital is in Darwin 2700 kilometres away.”
Lee also said that is his family was to take up his government’s offer, he’d have to travel the 300 kilometres to Wuhan. A trip, Lee claims, is near-impossible, due to the roadblocks in place.
But back to Christmas Island.
The island’s other Australian residents, the Tamil family from Biloela, were not aware that they’d be joined by their (potentially infected) countrymen. You could argue that they have bigger problems, in that their 4-year-old daughter was walked to school this week at gunpoint.
— Maria Lockwood (@MariaLockwood19) January 29, 2020
The Tamil family has long been a metaphor for official apathy, but the Wuhan 600 landing on the same island speaks of the official lack of forethought. Previously, Scott Morrison fought the virus with pamphlets, and now he’s planning to rub some Christmas Island magic on it. The plan is that there is no plan.
Morrison’s lack of planning before, after and during the summer of flame clearly illustrates that no-one is steering the nation. He’s a substitute teacher without a clue. The only thing he can dole out is punishment. We all want leadership, we don’t want the threat of the principal’s office.