Morrison celebrates repeal of medevac laws

Cheryl Sanders
December 5, 2019

"The repeal of the "Medevac" Bill signals a return to unnecessary suffering and a permanent resettlement pathway for all those refugees in detention is now desperately needed".

But the government has steadfastly refused to take up the offer, citing national security concerns.

"They've all used it as a backdoor to get into the country", she said.

"We have always taken the actions necessary to ensure that Australians can have confidence in the way our borders are managed", he said.

"We will continue to use the arrangements that we have in place to be able to resettle people and that is the assurance that we have provided".

Jacqui Lambie speaks in the Senate with Mathias Cormann.

The government has long hoped to overturn legislation allowing the medical evacuation of refugees and asylum seekers from Manus Island or Nauru to Australia for health treatment, which was passed late previous year. Kristina Keneally (who has been openly hawkish about the continuation of offshore processing) said: "What you're voting on today will deny sick people will deny sick people the opportunity to see a doctor and get treatment".

It's believed that there are more than 400 people still detained in PNG and Nauru, estimated Behrouz Boochani to AlJazeera.

"Minister [for Home Affairs, Peter] Dutton has approved 86 per cent of Medevac applications since February, so clearly the laws were working and have not compromised Australia's border security", Community Council for Australia Chair Tim Costello told Eternity.

Opinion polls had shown that 62% of voters supported the law.

In the mind of Lambie, she could not erode the protection of our borders, and allow people to drown.

Jacqui Lambie after speaking in the Senate on Wednesday.

Earlier in the week, Senator Cormann and Senator Lambie both ruled out horse trading on the medevac repeal bill.

US President Donald Trump's administration said that it would only honor that deal to maintain a strong relationship with Australia, and then only on condition that refugees satisfied strict checks.

With the government now being accused of reaching a secret deal with the senator, Rita Panahi tells Steve Price the public has a right to know the truth.

Senator Lambie offered to help repeal the so-called medevac laws on one condition.

"A secret deal on such a critical piece of legislation is one of the most reprehensible things you can do as a member of parliament". Senators were asked to vote on specific amendments, proposed in consultation with Lambie, which they had not seen - leading Labor and Greens senators to accuse their opponents of a "secret deal".

However, attention should swing to those still left on PNG, Nick McKim said "it's the darkest day for those people who remain on Manus and Nauru". An exception is a refusal by the Home Affairs Minister on character or national security grounds.

With additional reporting from wires.

Other reports by iNewsToday