TAS LCN LFM 90 Days of Giveaways 160x600 Wing

TAS LCN LFM 90 Days of Giveaways 160x600 Wing

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Inquiry to hear from stranded Australians

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Australians who were stranded overseas during the coronavirus pandemic will have the chance to highlight problems with the government's response.

A Senate inquiry will on Thursday hear from people affected by repatriation and travel problems amid a concerning bottleneck.

There are about 24,000 Australians overseas who want to return home, with 4000 considered vulnerable.

States have agreed to a staged increase in the number of people returning each week, with the national cap set to rise from 4000 to almost 6000 early next month.

Labor has criticised the Morrison government for not doing more to return people home, with many in financial distress.

The opposition is calling for the Commonwealth to run its own quarantine programs alongside state hotel schemes to boost capacity.

Scott Morrison has shot down suggestions the government's VIP fleet of planes could be used to fly people home.

The coronavirus response Senate inquiry will also hear evidence from top bureaucrats managing returning Australians.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Frances Adamson and Australian Border Force boss Michael Outram will appear, along with senior Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet officials.

Transport bureaucrats will face the inquiry as more state borders begin to open around the country.

South Australia's travel restrictions with NSW lifted overnight after Australia's most populous state recorded its second day without community transmission.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed he will go further than previously planned in easing restrictions this weekend, thanks to declining case numbers and strong testing rates.

Victoria recorded 15 new coronavirus cases and another five deaths on Wednesday, taking the national toll to 859.

The state's 14-day rolling average is now under 30 and the number of cases with no known sources continues to decline.

NSW recorded six new cases, all of whom were returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine.

© AAP 2020