Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Australian man in India challenges travel ban in federal court

A 73-year-old Australian man currently in India has launched a legal challenge to the government’s decision to make it a crime for residents from the COVID-stricken country to return home.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Gary Newman argued in the Federal Court on Wednesday that the ban is both unconstitutional and breaks the crucial biosecurity act underpinning Australia’s quarantine response.

Last week, the federal government paused all flights from India, halting eight repatriations, and then made it a formal crime for anyone to attempt the trip, punishable with a $66,000 fine.

Newman’s barrister Christopher Ward and Marque Lawyers managing partner Michael Bradley asked the court to first deal with their non-constitutional arguments, relating to how the biosecurity act is interpreted.

That law requires the government to say any actions taken are “appropriate and adapted to achieve the purpose” for which it is intended.

05/05/21 Adam Thorn/Australian Aviation

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