Published: Wed, December 04, 2019

Australian gov't rescinds medical evacuation laws for refugees, sparking opposition outrage

Australian gov't rescinds medical evacuation laws for refugees, sparking opposition outrage

"The only undertaking we've given is to implement our policies, that is it".

"I'm not being coy or silly when I say I genuinely can't say what I proposed", she told the Senate.

Lambie admitted medevac "is not a national security threat" but claimed "there are real problems with the way it's operating. they can not be amended away".

"Lambie says there was, Cormann, the government minister, says there wasn't!"

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

But Finance Minister Mathias Cormann denied making a secret deal.

The laws, which were passed by the parliament despite government opposition in February, gave doctors more power to decide if refugees on Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Nauru should be flown to Australia for medical treatment. I really don't understand this level of secrecy.

"I'm not anxious about the politics of this issue, I'm anxious about the people, the patients here at the centre of this system", he told the National Press Club.

That led to the passage of the medevac invoice - the primary time in a long time {that a} authorities had misplaced a vote by itself laws within the decrease home.

He described the legislation as a law created to provide a "backdoor" to Australia, which was now closed.

He then attacked the Labor party's record on border protection, saying they had sent women and children to Manus Island.


Jacqui Lambie sided with the government, paving the way for the bill to be introduced.

After days of negotiations with the government, and his unspecified condition agreed, Lambie finally made a decision to vote with the government.

Today's repealing of the Medevac legislation will prolong the pain of refugees who have been suffering at the hands of the Australian Government for more than six years, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) says.

Now, the government is being accused of "disgraceful" conduct over an alleged "secret deal" with independent Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie, who said she can't speak about the situation due to national security concerns.

"The public has a right to know if the Government and the Prime Minister have done a backflip and made a decision to accept the New Zealand offer - they should announce that".

But Cormann earlier said: "There is no secret deal".

Senator Lambie said the agreement would keep borders secure without allowing sick people to die waiting for treatment.

"Someone is misleading the Senate about one of the most important pieces of legislation that has been before this Parliament".

Australia refuses to accept refugees trying to reach their shores by boat, paying Nauru and Papua New Guinea to retain them. "In forcing this repeal, he has made his own life more hard, done a disservice to our country, and exacted another cruel blow on a group of people who have already suffered unspeakably at Australia's hands".

If the repeal passes, the Home Affairs Minister will be able to stop sick asylum seekers from getting the treatment doctors say they need.

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