Don Richardson, 31, of Beerwah, has been working offshore on an oil rig in Malaysia and fears he won't be allowed to travel home.
Don Richardson, 31, of Beerwah, has been working offshore on an oil rig in Malaysia and fears he won't be allowed to travel home.

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A Sunshine Coast fly-in, fly-out father who has been on an offshore oil rig in Malaysia for six weeks says his options to return to Queensland have "vanished".

Don Richardson, a senior electrician who normally works 28 days on followed by 28 days off, applied for an exemption to leave Australia being an essential offshore worker.

With a pregnant wife and two-year-old son at home in Beerwah, Mr Richardson is desperate to return but says he and other essential workers have been "forgotten" about.

The 31-year-old was forced to undergo two weeks of quarantine in Malaysia and has remained offshore for the past six weeks with daily swab tests and health checks on-site.

Mr Richardson said he had requested an exemption to travel home and self-quarantine but did not receive a reply.

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"The problem now is that they have restricted passenger numbers of flights into Australia. Airlines are no longer flying, so it limits the passengers per flight," Mr Richardson said.

"I don't think I will be able to return home until they lift the limits.

"I feel us essential workers who continued to travel and work away have been forgotten about.

"We pay our taxes here yet our option to return home has vanished."

Mrs Richardson, who has still been working while her husband is away, said she had to rely on other members of the family to look after her little one during the trying time.

"It has been very tough. I had to go back to work full-time, so it's one thing after another at the moment," Mrs Richardson said.

Mr Richardson is no stranger to missing family events given the nature of the "high stress" industry but he said this stint away had been particularly difficult.

"I just missed my son's second birthday, which was hard but we are used to it," he said.

"I find it is best not to think negatively and try not to worry about things out of my control.

"But when the Government suddenly makes it near impossible to return home it's too hard to ignore."

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On March 17, the Australian Government advised Australians overseas who wanted to return home to do so as soon as possible.

The Government has also encouraged Australians stuck overseas to ensure they have a safer place to stay and to follow to advice of local authorities.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said since March 13, 360,000 Australians had returned home.

"Of which the Government has assisted over 26,600 Australians and permanent residents on over 321 flights," the spokesman said.

"We continue to encourage Australians overseas to read and subscribe to our travel advice at"