CANBERRA, Australia—On April 4, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that people who have come to Australia on different visas and cannot take care of themselves at this time can go back to their countries. “Australia must focus on its citizens and its residents to ensure that we can maximise the economic supports that we have,” he said at a press conference during the National Cabinet meeting in Canberra.
Morrison said that those people, who have come here on student or visitor visas, can go back to their own countries and get the facilities of their country. “It is not important for them to live here. Many people have come here as travelers,” Morrison said.
However, Mr. Morrison’s statement is not sitting well with the students who are in Australia.
Hope you learned something from Him. He is helping students as well as citizens of his country. International Students, school, universities Australia’s economy hugely depends on the international student’s school fees..and in this problem you are refusing them…#ShameOnYou
— Sunny Singh Tamber (@tamber_singh) April 3, 2020
Another student posted –
I tweeted yesterday on this. So, what will an international student, who contracts #COVIDー19 do? I think the right thing to do is to treat them like Australian citizens during this pandemic. They can’t travel home with infection, and spread the virus everywhere? @ScottMorrisonMP
— 💛Dr Razia Shaik💛 (@RaziaShaik1) April 3, 2020
Advise for anyone who considering coming to Australia as an international student:
Don’t. You’re just gonna be the ATM. Zero support from @ScottMorrisonMP as a human under hard circumstances.They’re just gonna assume you’re rich af and take take take. Will leave you there to die
— RYfez (@YfezR) April 3, 2020
Universities Australia Deputy Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said there were 570,000 student visa holders in Australia, 335,762 of which were connected to the higher education sector. As per SBS Punjabi, an Australian news portal, there are over 72,000 Indian students are currently enrolled in Australia, which makes India the second-largest source of international students after China. Until March 2019, Australia had a record number of 613,000 international students with the majority coming from China, India and Nepal.
“Many of these international students are experiencing difficulties due to circumstances outside of their control. These students, like Australian students, have lost part time work through no fault of their own,” Ms. Jackson said.
Apart from this, the Sikh community in Australia is working vigorously to deliver free meals daily and groceries to people struggling with self-isolation and financial hardship amid the coronavirus crisis.
An organisation Sikh Volunteers Australia (SVA) is providing 800 free meals per day to the needy people through delivery vans. United Sikhs is another organisation in Australia which is run with the support of international students. United Sikhs is also helping the Australian people with free meals and basic daily essentials.