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Friday, May 20, 2022

Proposed travel bubble will revive international student sector

A proposed travel bubble between Australia and Singapore will revive the international student industry.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison flagged his ambitions for the travel arrangement in his meeting with his Singaporean counterpart last night but has warned it could be “some time” away.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton hopes a proposed travel bubble between Australia and Singapore will revive the international student industry.

“The international student numbers have dried up, so to see that start again will be important and there are many Australian jobs that hang off that industry,” Dutton said.

“Importantly, the next step from there as the prime minister pointed out yesterday would be the trialling of this passport, the vaccination passport, so we can have the free arrangement.

“It’s not going to happen tomorrow, but let us work toward it as quickly as we can.

“Singapore is a great partner to work with, they are very reliable, they have a great health system and a great tourism destination, as has Australia for those tourists that want to get out of Singapore and come to a great country like Australia.”

Mr Morrison revealed work to create a passage between the two nations after he met last night with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

“I welcome the fact that we will now work together to put the infrastructure in place, to put the systems in place to enable us to open up in a similar way that we’ve been able to open up to New Zealand from Australia when we’re both in a position to do so,” Mr Morrison said in a joint address following the sixth Singapore-Australia Leaders’ Meeting.

“There is still some time before we reach that milestone, but there is nothing impeding us, as we’ve discussed today, from getting on with the job of putting systems in place that will enable such a bubble to emerge between Singapore and Australia as it does now occur between Australia and New Zealand.”

Priority will be given to students from Singapore “to be able to return to Australia to complete their studies”, Mr Morrison said.

Mr Morrison is on his way to the UK for the G7 summit.

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