‘I just want to go home’: FIFO worker's plea to government
A FIFO worker fears he may miss out on the birth of his first child after trying unsuccessfully for weeks to get permission from the Australian government to fly home to the UK.
Paul Walker, 33, told Nine News he was supposed to be flying to the UK on Sunday to be with his partner, Anna Smith, for the birth of their son next month.
Mr Walker is an Australian permanent resident who has lived here for eight years.
Under the international travel ban due to the coronavirus, all Australians and permanent residents are banned from leaving the country without special permission.
Mr Walker told Nine News he had been trying for weeks to apply, sending multiple documents including a letter from the hospital, baby scans and proof of his relationship, but has been told by Home Affairs that he has not sent "sufficient information or evidence".
He says he has been asked eight times for more details. He now fears he won't make it back in time to self-isolate for 14 days before the caesarean on June 9.
"I just want to leave, I just want to go home," he told Nine News.
"I'm not one of these people who usually kick off on things like this, but where's our human rights? If she gives birth tomorrow, who's going to look after the other kids? I don't think they're letting partners into hospitals but at least I would be there to watch the other two."
Home Affairs said it did not comment on individual cases.
"Australians and permanent residents who apply for an exemption to current travel restrictions on departing Australia must submit valid, readable documentation to support their claims," a spokeswoman said.
"More information is available on the Department of Home Affairs website."
Originally published as 'Just wanna go home': FIFO worker's plea