National Cabinet agrees to continue prioritising returning Australians, international students and migrant workers to be further considered in February, 2021

Sydney Harbour Area overlooking Sydney CBD. (Photo by Dan Freeman on Unsplash)

Canberra, Australia:

In its 32nd meeting, which is also the last meeting for 2020, Australia’s National Cabinet has agreed to continue prioritising returning Australians. International Students and Migrant Workers are to be considered in February, 2021, most likely when the National Cabinet meets for its first meeting for 2021.

In a Press Release issued in Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s website, under International Border Arrangements, the PR reads:

“Quarantine arrangements are an essential part of Australia’s response to COVID-19. Existing quarantine arrangements will continue to prioritise returning Australians. Other groups including international students and skilled migrants will be further considered by National Cabinet in February 2021 subject to the health and safety advice.”

The National Cabinet also agreed that the Commonwealth and NSW will work to strengthen standards regarding quarantine and testing arrangements for international air crew and noted an additional compliance requirement being put in place for incoming diplomats.

On the subject of Seasonal Workers, the National Cabinet, while acknowledging the importance of Australia’s agricultural sector said “that bilateral arrangements will be established between the Commonwealth and jurisdictions based on each jurisdiction’s health protocols for Pacific workers.”

The National Cabinet also listed priorities for 2021 to support Australia’s COVID-19 recovery:

  • Delivering the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement;
  • Delivering a new National Skills Agreement to improve vocational education and training;
  • Expediting infrastructure projects to support job creation;
  • Ensuring more affordable and reliable energy, including progressing National Electricity Market and gas-market reforms;
  • Promoting economic growth and job creation in rural and regional Australia.