Minister Alex Hawke’s message to the Indian community

A message from the Hon Alex Hawke MP, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs.

 

I want to personally thank you on behalf of the Government for your frank feedback and support for India at this difficult time. I have provided this feedback directly to the Prime Minister and the National Security Committee.

 

I have convened six roundtable consultations with community leaders in the last 10 days. These roundtables were incredibly valuable in allowing to hear first-hand your concerns, as well as to ensure the community is fully informed about the Government’s decisions at this difficult time. 

 

As such, I want to update you on the latest development, as announced by the Prime Minister this morning, that the Government expects the travel pause to end on 15 May. Following this, the Australian Government plans to operate three repatriation flights in May that will prioritise bringing back approximately 900 Australians from India who are registered with our High Commission as vulnerable.

 

As the Prime Minister said this morning, “the biosecurity order that we have put in place has been highly effective. It’s doing the job that we needed it to do and that was to ensure that we could do everything we can to prevent a third wave of COVID-19 here in Australia, but also to ensure that we can put ourselves in a stronger position to bring Australians, Australian citizens, Australian residents and their direct families, home safely to Australia. This has put us on a much stronger footing to do that in a sustainable way.”

 

You can find the transcript of the Prime Minister’s morning doorstop here and the announcement of the resumption of repatriation flights here  

 

In coming weeks I will continue to engage closely with the Indian-Australian community and I look forward to discussing these matters and any others with you. Please contact me with any matters as we progress through this.

 

I also encourage you to continue to contact me through the Department of Home Affairs’ Regional Directors and Community Liaison Officer network to continue to provide your valuable insight and feedback.

 

Thank you for your ongoing support and for your efforts during this difficult period.

 

Alex Hawke