Imagine committing the crime of coming home to help family, and return to your country of origin to find you will be jailed, without exception, for a minimum of 15 days in a 1 room cell without access to fresh air, exercise nor any ability to cook food or exit the building without escort. Add to that insult, the reality of paying for the privilege to the tune of $3000- $6000 AUD.
Welcome to Australia mate! This is the current system of quarantine and COVID control infection from point of entry into the "gold standard" state of NSW Australia. A 'gold standard' system that is rife with ad hoc, arbitrary, unvetted errors and which has zero oversight, nor review after being hastily implemented March 29, 2020. If, as a government you place high priority on the protection of the population from a contagious infection, (while millions around the globe still die annually from the "flu" and it doesn't shut down the world), one would anticipate that at the very least you would be implementing a regular review of the program's efficacy and affordability! Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Under the cover of COVID, the "ave a go ya mug" land, the "fair go", "true blue, fair dinkum Aussie land" that I grew up in is nothing more than an oligarchic kleptocracy for the rich and/or famous. Our Australian way of life is under a far greater threat than COVID. Australia has become a top down, totalitarian society, determined to undermine the independence of the judiciary system, restrict the freedom of the press, deny everyday joe-blow Australian citizens the right to return home or travel to see loved ones within Australia while rich and famous non-Australians stride into and out of airports at will. Any opposition to such policies is portrayed as un-Australian, dangerous and, more importantly, just cause for arrest and fines!
This country is not the country I grew up in! We are living in a police state and we have sat back far too long in fear of media and politician approved and promoted false information, corresponding with an enhanced promulgation of uncertainty and fear. Australia it is time to stand against this tyranny of 'fake' news. We deserve a fair go, and we deserve to be allowed to walk outside, even amid COVID! We also deserve the right to cross state borders and have citizens return to our homeland. Simply, if we practice the rational, evidence based, W.H.O. approved practices of wearing masks, practicing social distancing and handwashing, alongside boosting our immune system, we can live with COVID. The fact of the matter is, that rather than implement policies without medical oversight, we need to learn to live with COVID because, just like the flu, and the common cold, it is not going away.
Equally, all Australians deserve the "grey nomad" constitutional right to cross any state border freely as a citizen of this country. It is not acceptable that any Australian citizen or resident, be subject to quarantine when travelling across state borders. S. 92 of our Constitution deems such border closures as entirely unconstitutional. The current laws denying us basic rights to visit family within our own single nation state, need to be challenged by 'we the people'. It is our responsibility to protect our sense of identity as an Australian and fight for the rights of every fair dinkum Australian! We have constitutional rights including the right to travel, the right to have our own property and ownership to be respected, and basically we have the right to visit family and attend funerals etc. Simultaneously we have the responsibility to be safe, and practice scientifically approved measures to reduce contagion: 1) social distancing, 2)mask wearing and 3) correct, frequent sanitizing of hands and surfaces. Such simple actions will be necessary to maintain our freedom to travel within or out of Australia as guaranteed under the Constitution of Australia (1900).
No, it is not the 1900's. It is September, 2020. Here I sit in my gilded prison. It is no more than a prison with signs saying you cannot leave this room. You cannot pass go. You cannot do anything unless you are given consent by staff or a discharge email. If you attempt to leave you will be arrested and sent to a different jail and charged a phenomenal fee for the privilege! Is that why I feel more like the central character of the "Diary of Anne Frank" hidden behind walls in the ghettos of Poland and Germany during WWII? Or perhaps even more like our convict ancestors that were whipped and chained and used as slaves to appropriate land away from the traditional (and rightful) owners of this great convict mentality continent!
What is the crime for which I am interned without access to exercise, no fresh air, and zero rights to even walk outside my door unaccompanied as a prisoner in jail? I have dared to commit the crime of returning home to Australia. My sentence: fifteen days jail.
At this very moment, around Australia, in "jails" (aka quarantine), there are multiple FAMILIES, up to 3500 regular Australian FAMILIES, with children, locked away in a quarantine hotel room without access to a window that opens, nor any exercise for 15 days of internment and secured by police and other staff! This sentence is for the singularly offensive crime of being Australian and returning home as we were advised to do by the government after initially being told in March, if we have a stable home and job to stay in place! Talk about mixed messages.
Can you imagine living with your entire immediate family in a 4 walled room, for 15 days quarantine, no access to air, cooking or exercise? Can you imagine why the incidents of suicide in quarantine are being suppressed in addition to the forecast increase in suicide rates of 13.7% across Australia over the next 5 years (University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Centre), I am sure that the NSW and Australian government do not want news of suicides to leak. It is the end of the beginning or the alpha and the omega in one.