Tom Henderson – who has three children aged four, two and 11 months – travelled to Indonesia in June but has struggled to find a flight home after Australia further limited international arrivals in July to ease pressure on hotel quarantine.
After both flights he booked in August were cancelled, the Victorian firefighter has now been told the earliest trip home available is January 11 – almost four months away.
His wife Ashley broke down on national television on Wednesday as she told of the emotional toll the separation has taken on her and the couple’s children.
Tom Henderson has been stranded in Indonesia away from his three children because of the ongoing international arrival caps imposed by the Australian government
‘It’s tough – my son said to me the other day, “Daddy’s never coming home”,’ she told the Today show as she wiped tears from her face.
‘When you are away from your family like that that’s the worst thing you can hear from your child, isn’t it?’
Mr Henderson said securing a seat on a flight home felt nearly impossible as airlines appeared to be continually reselling tickets to the highest bidder.
The firefighter said airlines had ‘essentially taken control of hotel quarantine spots’ after the federal government cut international arrival caps in half on July 14.
‘Seats are booked and rebooked, sold and resold, until close to your flight date and then, I guess, the highest bidder takes the ticket,’ he said.
The firefighter said he has tried getting home via New Zealand as he has Kiwi descendants but has found it impossible to get documents sent to him from Australia.
The father-of-three pictured with his wife and three children. He faces spending Christmas away from his family because of repeated flight cancellations
‘Australia Post has shut down all of the outbound mail to numerous countries, including Indonesia,’ he said.
‘Just getting documents here to facilitate something like that, you know – it’s near impossible.’
Mrs Henderson earlier told how her husband had little option but to take on the work in Indonesia.
His wife Ashley broke down on national television on Wednesday as she told of the emotional toll the uncertainty has taken on her and the couple’s children
Mrs Henderson said her husband had to take on the deployment to Indonesia because work in Australia had dried up
‘He didn’t have any other choice but to go. There wasn’t really any other option for work for him,’ she told ABC Goulburn Murray.
‘We knew that risk before he left.’
‘But when he left things were looking better, people were getting vaccinated and the government was telling us things were starting to open up.’
More to come
Source: Daily Mail UK