Liberal MP Andrew Wallace has declared Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese’s proposal to use federal resources for repatriation flights and quarantine facilities to be a “thought bubble”.
Mr Wallace said it was “a bit rich” for the Opposition Leader to criticise the federal government for failing to deliver the necessary resources to activate a repatriation plan.
“The national cabinet agreed some months ago that the states would be responsible for quarantining Australians and international visitors,” he said.
Mr Wallace said states like Queensland were only permitting 500 people per week while the New South Wales government had taken the vast bulk of overseas travellers with 2,450 people in quarantine facilities each week.
“The issue is not how we get people here, the issue is how we deal with them in quarantine in Australia and up until now that has been the agreed responsibility of the states."
On Tuesday, Mr Albanese said it was “simply unacceptable that the Prime Minister continues to say there is nothing he can do about it and he hopes to have these families home by Christmas”.
With a number of planes grounded due to a dramatic fall in international travel and vacant hotel rooms that could host international travellers, Labor argued the federal government had no excuse for inaction.