Fed govt starting consultations with Indian community amid uncertainty of stranded Australians returning home

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 29 April 2021: As the Australian government faces flak from separated Australian-Indian families because of the inbound flight ban from India till May 15, the federal government is starting a massive consultation program of engagements with the Indian community from April 30, 2021.

The flight ban is being seen by many of the thousands of stranded Australians in India as making their return home more difficult. With the raging pandemic in India, an extension of the flight ban is what scares these people.

The consultations are “to hear their views and concerns regarding the evolving COVID-19 situation in India, provide updates, and convey the Australian Government support options that are available,” a media release says.

“In addition, the Department of Home Affairs’ Community Liaison Network will ensure the communication of official information to multicultural communities and provide a mechanism for community members to share information about their priorities and concerns.”

Yesterday (28 April 2021), Hon. Alex Hawke MP, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs and Federal Member for Mitchell joined in a Zoom meeting Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs Jason Wood, and more than 140 multicultural community leaders, to discuss Australia’s travel pause with India and the range of assistance Australia is providing at this difficult time.

The meeting discussed many issues, including the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Australia’s strong social cohesion and what is being done to keep it that way, and pandemic travel restrictions generally.

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