OSHCstudents – A NSW government plan to bring international students back to university campuses this year has ruffled feathers south of the border.
Under the plan before the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, overseas students would be quarantined in Sydney using purpose-built housing.
The news comes despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg saying Australia‘s borders will remain closed for the foreseeable future and ongoing pressure to bring home stranded Australians.
Mr Morrison said the Commonwealth was aware of the ambitious proposal.
“They’re still a long way from landing this I should stress,” he told Sydney radio 2GB on Thursday.
“But it’s something that we’re encouraging of but it’s got to be done safely and we’ve got to be able to do it in a way that doesn’t risk the great success we’ve had.”
Acting Victorian Premier James Merlino is intrigued by the report.
“How can NSW proceed with that?” he told reporters.
Victoria had “very clear advice from the Commonwealth is that … any incoming flights, require Commonwealth approval”.
Last month Victoria made a proposal that 120 people per week, such as international students and workers for major events – return to the state.
“If it’s the case that the Commonwealth doesn’t require that approval. You know, we are ready to go, but I found that report very very interesting,” Mr Merlino said.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet is hoping international students will be back in lecture halls and tutoring sessions by the second semester.
“This is about finding a way to bring students back but not at the expense of the weekly cap of Australian citizens arriving back in NSW,” he told The Australian.
“If we don’t address this issue then I believe we’ll have an industry on its knees and one that will look elsewhere.”
The international student market is worth $14 billion a year to the NSW economy.
Meanwhile, NSW recorded no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm Wednesday from 17,806 tests.
NSW Health has administered its highest number of vaccinations in one day, with 7552 vaccines on Wednesday, including 2,554 jabs at the vaccination centre at Sydney Olympic Park.
The total number of vaccines administered in NSW is 840,647.
OSHCstudents (Source: 7news)