The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) has today called on the Federal Government to reconsider the ban it has imposed on Australian citizens travelling home from India.
The ban, which came into effect today, applies to any travellers, including Australian citizens, who have been in India in the preceding 14 days, with breaches punishable with up to five years’ imprisonment.
FECCA Chairperson Mary Patetsos says the ban – the first of its kind in Australian history – sends the wrong message to the Indian community in Australia who are terrified for the wellbeing of their loved ones.
“Many Australians travelled to India with the expectation that, as Australian citizens, they would be able to return home,” Ms Patetsos said.
“Families are scared at this time, and the imposition of this travel ban has added to the fear and anxiety that the community is feeling.
“We understand there are about 9,000 Australian citizens in India who want to return home. That includes vulnerable older people and minors now trapped in a terrifying situation without their parents.
“The Government must find an alternative solution and organise repatriation flights for Australian citizens.”
FECCA is the national peak body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Our role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of our constituency to government, business and the broader community.