A family of five from New Zealand who were “really grateful” to be in Australia have been forced to flee their country after “the golden compass” warning.
Key points:The family, from the Northern Territory, were travelling to Tasmania and Victoria on holidayThe warnings were “not really accurate”, the family saysThe warning, first issued in November, was later withdrawn”They’ve never been through something like this before,” the family’s mother, Emma, told the ABC.
“It’s a bit frightening and we don’t know what the outcome will be.
We’ve never had a warning before, and they’ve never really told us what to expect.”
Emma says her family and other travellers have been “really surprised” by the warnings”But after months of waiting, the family was forced to abandon their holiday plans and fly home after the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) told them they could not stay in the country for a year.”
We were really surprised,” Emma said.”
What the DfAT did is they pulled the warning down and told us it was an error, and that it wasn’t really accurate.
“She said they were told they would be “forced to leave” after the end of the month, and she said they had been “very shocked”.”
We’ve been going through this all year, and we’ve never known this before.
It’s really a shock,” she said.
Emma said she was told they could “not stay” in Australia for a further year after the warning was withdrawn.
The warning was issued on November 1, and it said travellers should check with their hotel about their travel arrangements.”
I think it’s very unfair, really unfair,” she told the Nine Network.”
They just didn’t give us a full year to decide what we’re going to do.
“It’s just been really unfair.”
Emma, her family, and other Travellers have been stuck in Hobart, Darwin, Darwin-Sydney, and Adelaide.
They are unable to travel for at least one month at a time because of the travel ban, and have been unable to access their bank accounts, medical appointments, and even their passports.
“When you’re travelling and you don’t have money to buy anything, and you’re stuck in a place where you don`t have a bank account or you don�t have money for things like that, it really is really unfair.”
Emmy said the warning would not have made much difference to them, but said the travel restrictions made it harder to plan.
“The travel ban made it hard for us to do the things we would normally be doing,” she explained.
“If you go to a doctor or go to your GP, there’s no way you can go in and say, ‘I’ve been having a heart attack, my liver’s broken, my kidneys are failing, I have pneumonia and I’ve been trying to go to the doctor, and I can’t afford to go’.”
The DfT said it did not know how many travellers have applied for asylum, and would not comment on figures on the number of people applying for refugee status.
But Ms Giselle Goh, who has been travelling to Australia for four years, said the warnings had made a difference.
“You hear about things like ‘the golden cow’, or ‘the red apple’, or the golden milk.
And it makes it harder for people to go and get the things they need to survive,” she says.”
In the case of my family, they’ve been really lucky to be here and to have the opportunity to stay here.”
This is something that we can’t really get away from.
“Topics:immigration,foreign-affairs,travel-and-tourism,australiaFirst posted March 24, 2019 17:42:39Contact Adam BremmerMore stories from New South Wales