Federal Government signals flight cap to be increased by 2,000 people a week Australia-wide.
The Morrison Government has written to State Premiers asking them to consider lifting their current flight caps, which allow just 4000 international passengers into the country each week.
WA is currently taking in the second highest number of passengers, at 525 weekly, behind NSW at 350 every day. Victoria is not currently taking in any passengers.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack announced today the Government wanted those caps raised.
“It has been a difficult situation for some trying to get home and we have acknowledged that,” he said.
“We want those returning Australians to be able to do so.
“I want to raise that (the flight cap) to 6,000.”
The Federal Government in August put a plan to National Cabinet to half the number of passengers arriving into Australia until the end of October.
But with more than 25,000 Australians trapped overseas – including up to 3,000 deemed vulnerable for health or financial reasons – the Government wants those caps lifted faster.
“We will increase the number of Australians coming into Sydney by 500,” Mr McCormack said.
“As well, 500 more will be coming into Queensland and I urge and encourage Annastacia Palaszczuk to look at the Gold Coast and Cairns.
“Likewise, WA is increasing its capacity by 500, SA about 360.”
The caps were originally put in place to ease the pressure on States’ quarantine systems.
A breakdown of quarantine is what caused the outbreak of the second COVID-19 wave in Victoria.
“I have written to those territories and states to see what capacity they quarantine can have at this point in time,” Mr McCormack said.
“I want to make sure that more Australians can return home. There are some heart-wrenching stories.”
Watch now: Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack addresses the media regarding international flight caps.
Mark McGowan however, was less than impressed with the sudden news.
Despite Mr McCormack addressing the media this morning in NSW and announcing he had written to Premiers, Mark McGowan said this afternoon he had not been alerted to the plan to raise the flight caps.
“I would’ve thought these things should be discussed at national cabinet rather than a letter being released to the press prior to being brought to the attention of the relevant Premiers,” Mr McGowan said.
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