Australia Liberal MP trolled by Australians stuck overseas
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A Liberal MP has been trolled by Australians stranded overseas after innocently asking her Instagram followers what they were doing for their summer weekend.
Katie Allen, the member for Higgins in Melbourne, shared snaps of her sunset beach picnic on Saturday evening.
She posed the question: 'What are you doing this summer weekend?'
But her honest question and humble brag seemingly frustrated a handful of Australians still stuck overseas thanks to Covid-19.
There are almost 40,000 Australians stranded overseas because of quarantine caps and limited seats on flights.
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'I am staying stranded in Mexico where Covid is out of control as I am one of the 38,000 your government have left stranded. Thanks for asking,' one comment read.
'Stuck overseas. Bring us home. Lift the caps. Increase arrival numbers,' another said.
A third wrote: 'Marking 13 months since seeing my family in Australia! Glad you are enjoying yourself though.'
Another Instagram user said they were trying to work extra shifts so they can save $10,000 to pay for a repatriation flight ticket.
'Do spare a thought, won't you, while you enjoy your picnic, for all the Australians who are now left stranded in other countries?' An additional comment read, with the hashtag 'bring Aussies home'.
The Instagram post and its comments were shared in a Facebook group for Australians stranded overseas, where citizens write of their plight to get home.
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Following the last National Cabinet meeting on January 22, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the international passenger arrival cap would return to previous levels on February 15.
The government halved international arrival caps in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia on January 8 to manage the flow of returning Australians potentially exposed to new coronavirus strains.
'Current international passenger caps in Victoria and South Australia and arrangements in the Northern Territory are considered manageable and will remain in place,' the national cabinet said in a statement at the time.
Dr Allen said she encourages all Australians stuck overseas to contact their local member of Parliament directly through their electorate office to ensure they can be assisted.
'I personally remained available 24/7 over the Christmas and holiday period to help constituents who needed my assistance in returning home,' she said in a statement to Daily Mail Australia.
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'Over 448,000 Australians have returned to Australia since the government recommended that people reconsider the need to travel abroad in March 2020 - 72,000 Australians have returned since September 2020.'
Dr Allen said further government-facilitated flights to support the return of Australians stuck overseas are planned in the coming weeks.
'DFAT has expanded its financial assistance program to make available further emergency funds for the most vulnerable Australian citizens overseas,' she said.
'This support is intended to assist Australians in financial distress due to Covid-19 to purchase return flights to Australia where this is possible, including where prices have increased, or to shelter in place while they await an available flight to Australia.'
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