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.
The coalition government reportedly raised the prospect of resettling hundreds of asylum seekers detained offshore in New Zealand during talks with Jacqui Lambie to get her vote to repeal the medevac bill.
The Tasmanian independent senator was given the assurance by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in a private letter, revealed on Thursday in separate reports in Nine newspapers and The Courier-Mail citing unnamed sources.
Federal Government's crackdown on unions rejected by Senate after One Nation sides with Opposition
Pauline Hanson and Jacqui Lambie have joined forces to deliver a shock defeat of the Government's signature union crackdown legislation. The Government failed to gain support of crossbenchers to pass its so-called ensuring integrity bill, which Labor had dubbed "union busting" legislation. The changes would have allowed for applications to be made to the Federal Court to deregister a union or union official if conduct was deemed inappropriate. The Government said it was crucial to ensure unions were accountable for their actions, while Labor criticised it as an attack on the union movement.
The assurance from Mr Morrison to Senator Lambie could pave the way for a New Zealand resettlement, although the NZ government has said while its offer to resettle 150 refugees remains on the table it has had no talks with Australia.
The repealed medical evacuations laws, which initially passed against the government's wishes, had allowed people in offshore detention to be transferred on the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But after the laws were repealed on Wednesday, Mr Morrison said at a press conference there had been no deal with the senator to get her deciding vote.
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.