Stakeholders respond to medevac law repeal

Nellie Chapman
December 4, 2019

"But when I say I can't discuss it publicly due to national security concerns, I am being 100 percent honest to you", she said, with tears.

"To now deny medical professionals from taking decisions in patients' best interests - and to effectively hand that power back to unqualified officials. puts those most sick and vulnerable at risk", Paul McPhun, Executive Director of Medecins Sans Frontières Australia said in a statement.

"We had Minister Cormann say that there was no deal - now we've had Senator Lambie say there is a deal - who is lying?"

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.

"I get that this vote will disappoint many and I apologise for that. This is a matter of conscience". I can't let the boats start back up, and I can't let refugees die, whether it's sinking into the ocean or waiting for a doctor.

Opposition senators accused the federal government of "secrecy" in placing the last-minute deal.

But its repeal would mark a success for the government in the final days of Parliament for the year.

Ms Lambie cried in the chamber as she backed the bill but would not reveal whether a deal had been struck to garner her support. Will this undermine border security?

"If there is a New Zealand deal, then I welcome it, but why the games denying us the right to know?"

Senior government frontbencher Simon Birmingham said Labor's claims were "completely misleading" and "complete over reach".

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"These are life-saving laws and no deal can justify over-turning them".

The laws, which came into effect in March, allowed people in offshore processing to be transferred on the recommendation of two independent doctors.

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.

Lambie told the senate that she had negotiated a deal with government for her support on repealing medevac but its terms could not be disclosed for security reasons.

Last week, Senator Lambie said she had one condition for her support and it was speculated that involved accepting New Zealand's resettlement offer.

It secured the assist of a key impartial lawmaker, Jacqui Lambie, to get the numbers within the Senate on Wednesday.

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

"They are using (Medevac) to stay in this country. 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".

"We know some of these people's problems are self inflicted, like palm oil into their penis".

The government has been running a harsh offshore detention system for years created to deter people from trying to reach Australia by boat.

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