New South Wales Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet proposed a quarantine plan in Hobart hotels, Tasmania for arriving international students. The state proposed the plan in a bid to revive the stranded multi-billion education sector.
As per the proposal, international students would stay in quarantine in Tasmania for two weeks in a hotel. After that, they can arrive in NSW to study. However, as Tasmania rejected the plan, the state proposed a new plan again regarding the arrival rules.
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein expressed the proposal is not under consideration. He further said their priority remains the safe management of seasonal workers entering the state and our own international students.
Alternative plans for quarantining arriving international students
NSW Treasurer is hopeful towards the plan that includes requiring NSW universities to contribute to the cost of quarantining students.
Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, the treasurer expressed his commitment to finding a way to revive the education industry. Further, stated he will even work collaboratively with Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein to find a solution.
Impact on the NSW economy
The international education sector is one of the largest exports worth about $14 billion a year to the NSW economy. The industry which used to support one job for every three international students has seen a plunging downfall this year.
A year ago, the Australian government issued the statement of border closures as a response to contain the pandemic. As a result, The NSW economy contracted by $13.8 billion in June 2020. This equates to a loss of around $1700 for every person in the state.
Similarly, research by Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute indicates around a 50% drop. That means, only 300,000 international students will be living in Australia by mid-2021.
Universities Australia estimates the international sector will further lose $2 billion in 2021 due to the closed borders. In conclusion, the International Education sector is vital to Australia’s economy and growth.
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