FLYING HOME: Dave and Jan Binskin on the flight from Japan to Australia to be quarantined for another two weeks at Howard Springs mining compound in Darwin. PIC: CONTRIBUTED
FLYING HOME: Dave and Jan Binskin on the flight from Japan to Australia to be quarantined for another two weeks at Howard Springs mining compound in Darwin. PIC: CONTRIBUTED

Darwin quarantine “like a sh-thole and govt has conned us”

DAVE and Jan Binskin are in quarantine in "a sh-thole" in Darwin.

After being evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship where two people died and 620 people tested positive for coronavirus, the Casino couple and 170 other Australians are in another 14 days quarantine in a mining compound.

They were on board the ship in Japan when the Australian government notified them, they could return to Australia but face further quarantine.

The conditions at the compound are terrible, Mr Binskin said.

"Morrison conned us, they didn't prepare for us and the people opposite us didn't even have water for six hours," he said.

Their quarantine sounds more like a prison.

 

The small room at Howard Springs mining compound in Darwin where the Binskins are staying for two weeks in quarantine.
The small room at Howard Springs mining compound in Darwin where the Binskins are staying for two weeks in quarantine.

 

"The locked us into an area with double fences around us and then decided it was a fire risk and took down the fences," he said.

The Binskins were excited to be going back to Australia, he said, but conditions are worse than on the boat.

They have single beds, the room is unclean, the TVs don't work and they're not allowed to have alcohol, Mr Binskin said.

"We were told they didn't want the old people drinking and falling over," he said.

"We can't use the pool, we don't even have a garbage bin and some people don't even have bed linen."

 

Howard Springs mining compound in Darwin where the Binskins and 170 Australians are in quarantine.
Howard Springs mining compound in Darwin where the Binskins and 170 Australians are in quarantine.

 

The couple tested negative for coronavirus.

"The government has forgotten about us," Mr Binskin said in a flat voice.

His is weary and said basic simple needs were not being met.

"The army is feeding us," he said.

With nothing to do in the compound, Mr Binskin said his wife Jan likes knitting and providing her with wool and needles would help the time pass.
"It's against human rights," he said.

Had they disembarked in Japan they would have been free to leave, but were told they would be looked after in Australia.

"They didn't prepare for us," Mr Binskin said.

The Binskins don't understand why they can't go home to Casino and be in home quarantine for two weeks, especially because they are clear of the virus.

Instead they are stuck in a mining compound in the far north of the country for another 13 days.

Mr Binskin is writing a diary and plans to publish a book when they are released.

He said many people at the compound had received letters from their local member of parliament.

"We've heard nothing from Kevin Hogan (Member for Page)," Mr Binskin said.

"We're collateral damage and we've been forgotten."

Mr Hogan said he has been in regular contact with Foreign Affairs minister Marise Payne.

"I saw Jan and Dave's Facebook post this morning and have spoken to them," he said.

"I'm now working with the minister to lift some of these ridiculous conditions that have been imposed at Howard Springs."



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