Medevac laws are ‘modest’ and ‘working as intended’
As the federal government pushes to repeal the medevac laws, the Australia Institute’s deputy director Ebony Bennett says the medevac laws are “really quite modest” and have been “working as intended”. Ms Bennett and Sky News host Chris Kenny debated the laws which give doctors more say in transferring asylum seekers to Australia from offshore detention for medical treatment.Ms Bennett argued the fact that Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has approved more than 90 asylum seekers and refugees for temporary medical transfers separate to the medevac legislation shows the laws do not pose a threat to national security.
Influential crossbench senator Jacqui Lambie is remaining tight-lipped about a deal to scrap controversial "medevac" laws.
Sources close to the negotiations told Nine newspapers her vote could be secured in return for accepting the New Zealand deal to resettle refugees in offshore detention.
Senator Lambie has refused to publicly state what that condition is, citing national security concerns.
Lambie close to deal on refugee transfers
Senate crossbencher Jacqui Lambie has indicated she is close to securing a deal with the Morrison government on refugee medical transfer laws. Senator Lambie has indicated she wants to land a deal that amends the system, without giving the government the full repeal that it wants."I think what you'll find with medevac is it may not look like it does today," she said.More than 150 refugees and asylum seekers have come to Australia under the medevac laws.The government claims the scheme weakens border protection because it limits the discretion of the minister to rule on each transfer.
She said she was in constructive talks with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
"I can't feed out to any media what the condition is. Right now the talks are going along really, really nicely," she told AAP on Thursday.
"There's a game of trust there between myself, the PM and Minister Dutton and I will not put that at risk."
New Zealand has long offered to take 150 refugees per year from Australia's offshore processing centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.
The coalition and previous Labor governments have refused to accept the offer, claiming it could trigger an influx of asylum-seeker boats.
The bill is listed to be brought for debate on Monday.
Decoding the secret medevac negotiations between Jacqui Lambie and the Government .
The Federal Government insists the only guarantee it has given crossbencher Jacqui Lambie is it will implement its current policies. In doing so, it leaves open the prospect that refugees could be settled in New Zealand even though that's not publicly its current policy, writes political reporter Dan Conifer.Instead, the stars are Scott Morrison and Jacqui Lambie, and they're talking about refugees in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.