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.
Sky News contributor Warren Mundine says controversial medevac laws "are not really about the health of the people on Manus and Nauru Islands" but are instead "just a backdoor way of getting people in to Australia".
The Coalition is planning to repeal the medevac bill when parliament sits for the final time in 2019.
Whether medevac is overturned is likely to hinge on Independent Jacqui Lambie, who said she will only agree to repealing the legislation if the Coalition agree to an amendment.
Senator Lambie has not said publicly what she is demanding of the government.
Mr Mundine said he hopes Ms Lambie "would actually start seeing the common sense in regard to this whole process".
"Because if you keep on doing these backdoor entrances into Australia, all you're doing is opening up for the boats to start again," Mr Mundine told Sky News host Gemma Tognini.
Lambie 'told refugees will be resettled' .
Senator Jacqui Lambie backed the repeal of medevac laws after she was assured refugees in offshore detention centres could be resettled in New Zealand. The repealed medical evacuations laws, which initially passed against the government's wishes, had allowed people in offshore detention to be transferred on the recommendation of two independent doctors.But after the laws were repealed on Wednesday, Mr Morrison said at a press conference there had been no deal with the senator to get her deciding vote.