An exemption from travel ban was given to a Sydney businessman with ties to the Morrison Government to pick up a new luxury yacht in Europe.
The founder of ASX-listed Tyro Payments, Jost Stollmann, was allowed to leave Australia at the end of May and is now waiting for the pandemic on board his Greek islands yacht.
German-born Mr Stollmann has been living in Australia since 2004, and became a citizen in January 2011, subjecting him to a ban on citizens and permanent residents entering the country without government permission. Since 25 March the travel ban has been in effect.
Mr Stollmann wrote to the Double Bay Sailing Club ten days ago to beg off canteen duty as he was abroad and would only return to Australia once the travel ban had been lifted overseas.
In the email received from this masthead, he said that at the end of June he had travelled to Trieste, Italy, to pick up his “awesome” new 24-meter yacht, SY ALITHIA, which he then sailed to the “charming and spiritual island of Patmos in the Greek Dodekanese”.
In government circles Mr Stollmann is well connected. In 2016, he was named to the FinTech expert advisory committee and met on many occasions with then-treasurer Scott Morrison, Greg Hunt as minister for business , innovation and research and former senator Arthur Sinodinos.
Legal criteria for a travel ban exemption include urgent personal affairs, compassionate purposes, travel for essential business or industry, travel in the public interest, and humanitarian or medical assistance.
A spokesman for the Department of Home Affairs would not comment on Mr Stollmann’s case. “Decisions by the ABF commissioner to grant exemptions for travel for compassionate and compelling circumstances must be balanced against the government’s intent for imposing the travel ban and the health risks posed to the Australian community by international travellers,” the spokesman said.