Immigration Minister Alex Hawke says temporary visa holders who breach Australia’s coronavirus health orders could be stripped of their visas and deported.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke says temporary visa holders who breach Australia's coronavirus health orders could be stripped of their visas and deported back home.
Mr Hawke made the remarks during an interview with 2GB today in response to a Bronte Beach backpacker party held on Christmas Day.
NSW Police were called to the popular beach in Sydney's eastern suburbs to break up large crowds gathered at a Christmas Day event, dispersing scores of revellers in Santa hats who appeared to be giving little consideration to social distancing.
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In a video of the event, crowds of people, many of them backpackers, can be seen bunched together while singing and dancing.
The party was held just half an hour's drive from the Northern Beaches, where thousands of families remain under lockdown this Christmas period due to a coronavirus outbreak.
"I was shocked by the scenes on Bronte Beach there and I've heard from a lot of people from across Sydney who are doing the right thing who are very upset about it," Mr Hawkes said.
"And absolutely under the Migration Act if somebody is threatening public safety or health their visa can be cancelled or revoked. So, certainly the Federal Government is looking at that issue."
He said he has instructed the Department of Home Affairs to work closely with NSW authorities in the lead up to New Year's Day to make sure "everyone is doing the right thing".
"And if anyone is caught doing the wrong thing, that their visa status will be brought before the Federal Government," he said.
"There has been a couple of incidents and I think Sydneysiders would agree that 10 months into a pandemic we all know the drill now, we all understand how difficult it has been around the world. We understand why we have to be doing what we're doing.
"People who are guests in our country also have to do the right thing… most temporary visa holders and guests in our country are doing the right thing, like Australians, but of course it is unacceptable for people who are on temporary visas to be breaching public health orders."https://omny.fm/shows/ben-fordham-full-show/immigration-minister-alex-hawke-confirms-bronte-re/embed
Mr Hawke said one possible consequence of a health order breach by a temporary visa holder is deportation.
"We can deport people, we have chartered flights to continue the normal process of immigration overseas where we return people to home countries," he said.
"We don't want to have public health and safety jeopardised by a small group of people who are not respecting the country that they've come and been in.
"They know the situation in their home countries is worse in many respects and we're warning them very clearly that if they are caught and are found doing it we will certainly carefully examine their visa status."
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/temporary-visa-holders-who-breach-australias-coronavirus-health-orders-could-be-stripped-of-their-visas-deported/d379b053-d3b8-4375-b356-24c34e66f8d0