CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
Local Dalby woman, Margie Dimbley (55) didn’t ever imagine she’d have to pay the government $5000 dollars just to visit her niece’s newborn in London last March.
After getting caught in the virus-infested United Kingdom at the outbreak of the 2020 pandemic, it took her close to a two of couch-surfing with her overwhelmed young relatives until she managed to find a ticket home.
Upon landing at the Brisbane International Airport, Margie was informed that the mandatory two weeks hotel quarantine she was expected to endure would not be covered by either the Federal Government or State Government.
With very little warning in late May last year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison drastically changed the rules around overseas arrivals. International arrivals were culled by 50% – from 8,000 to 4,000 a week–to lift pressure on the hotel quarantine system that he had implemented to avoid building dedicated federal facilities.
The number of weekly flights were slashed accordingly, and solo traveling Australian citizens returning to home soil were expected to foot a $3,000 hotel quarantine bill.
After missing eight weeks of work and forking out nearly $5000 required to nab the only available seat at the front of a Boeing jet to get the fuck home, Margie wasn’t too keen on forking out anymore money for this unexpected violation of her rights as an Australian citizen.
So, she just kinda didn’t pay.
“Yeah it’s like the fine you get for not voting. If you just ignore it, it disappears”
“I could tell no one really knew who the fuck was supposed to be following me up”
As Margie points out, when the Federal Government shifts the responsibility of quarantine onto the State Government by demanding that they prop up the Liberal Party donors in the luxury hotel industry, no one really knows who is supposed to be chasing the bill from the Australian citizens who got imprisoned into a one bedroom apartment for two weeks when they returned home.
“They sent me one letter and I threw it in the bin.”
“That’s the last I’ve heard from them, and nobody has ever said I HAVE to pay anyway”
“What are they gonna do? Robodebt me?”
“Food was shit anyway”