Ipswich residents among thousands of Aussies stuck overseas

IPSWICH residents are among the thousands of Australians stranded overseas and struggling to find a route home in the coronavirus crisis.

Blair MP Shayne Neumann said his office had been working with about 15 local people to try and get their safe passage home.

Some have been able to return and are in quarantine in their homes, while some are stuck in foreign lands and waters.

Qantas and Virgin had grounded their fleets but the two airlines have since restarted scheduled flights to Los Angeles, London, Los Angeles and Auckland.

Anxious Aussies are being assisted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to get home, working with embassies, High Commissions and consulates.

Many are glued to their phones to get the latest updates to get back to Australia.

"We've been dealing with people from New Zealand to the United Kingom, and to other parts of the world," Mr Neumann said.

"Locally here in Ipswich, I've been dealing with both people who are crew on cruise ships, as well as people who are stranded in various parts of the world.

"Some of these people are retired. Others are young people working on cruise ships and some are passengers.

"It's a horrendous experience for them. It's terrible what they've had to go through."

Mr Neumann called on the Federal Government to do more to get Australians back on home soil.

"Other countries seem to be doing better in getting their nationals home," he said.

"In the countries which they're living, they don't have the same degree of response (to COVID-19).

"They are desperate to get back."

Mr Neumann said he had been in contact with those now home in Ipswich, who were being assisted by family with supplies and food.

"They've expressed extrodinary appreciation of Qantas crew and consulate, embassy and High Commission staff who they said were absolutely marvellous," he said.

"One of them had been overseas on a cruise since October last year."



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