Filter by covid-19

COVID-19 Human Biosecurity Emergency—Rapid Antigen Test Determination

On Friday 7 January 2022, the Health Minister made the Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) (COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests) Determination 2022. The Determination prohibits the non-commercial export of Rapid Antigen Test Kits (‘RATs’) out of Australia and prohibits the price-gouging of RAT tests by persons who have purchased the tests in a retail transaction.     Read more...

Power of the Minister to cancel a person’s visa on public health grounds

Recent events surrounding the cancellation of tennis player Novak Djokovic’s Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa have highlighted the broad powers provided to the Minister (currently the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs) to cancel a person’s visa under the Migration Act 1958 (the Act). While a previous Flagpost discussed the power of the Minister to cancel a person’s visa on character grounds, this post will focus on the general power of the Minister to cancel a visa under section 116 of the Act, including the Minister’s personal power to cancel visas.  Read more...

Mapping Social Cohesion 2021: immigration and diversity in a time of closed borders

The report of the 15th Scanlon Mapping Social Cohesion survey was released on 30 November 2021. The survey again indicates that social cohesion in Australia remains strong, showing general resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. A closer look, including through a new interview component, reveals where parts of the community may be more affected by the impact of the pandemic, and raises questions about shifts in Australians’ views and perceptions more generally.  Read more...

COVID-19 Human Biosecurity Emergency Declaration—Omicron Response Measures

On 26 November 2021 the World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) advised the WHO that a SARS-Cov-2 variant, first detected on 9 November 2021 in South Africa, should be designated as a ‘Variant of Concern’ (VOC) named Omicron. Read more...

In 1913 the Commonwealth quarantined Sydney for 145 days

Commonwealth quarantine legislation, from the original form of the Quarantine Act 1908 through to the current Biosecurity Act 2015, has always included provisions for the Commonwealth to declare movement restrictions, quarantines and other emergency measures.  Read more...

Higher Education Support Amendment (Extending the Student Loan Fee Exemption) Bill 2021

On 13 May 2021, the Minister for Education and Youth, Alan Tudge, introduced the Higher Education Support Amendment (Extending the Student Loan Fee Exemption) Bill 2021 (the Bill) to the House of Representatives.  The purpose of the Bill is to extend the FEE-HELP loan fee exemption, which is currently in place until 30 June 2021, to 31 December 2021. The loan fee exemption was initially introduced as part of the Higher Education Relief Package in response to COVID-19.   Read more...

COVID-19 Human Biosecurity Emergency Declaration—India Travel Pause

On 30 April 2021, India had reported more than 300,000 new cases of COVID-19 every day for a week. After a risk assessment, the Government decided to implement a temporary pause on travellers from India entering Australian territory by air if the passenger had been in India within 14 days of the person’s intended arrival date in Australia.  Read more...

Mapping Social Cohesion 2020: are we 'all in this together'?

The 2020 edition of the Scanlon Foundation’s Mapping Social Cohesion report was released on 4 February 2021. In a year when so much seemed to change, the report found that Australia’s stability and resilience largely held firm. However, there are some surprises in what is different and what has stayed the same. Read more...

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