Morrison celebrates repeal of medevac laws

'Secret deal' to repeal medevac, says Penny Wong

'Secret deal' to repeal medevac, says Penny Wong

Australia repealed legislation, on December 4, that gave doctors the right to decide on asylum seekers getting medical treatment in two remote Pacific detention centres.

"We've always understood that that type of loophole doesn't strengthen our borders, it only weakens them".

The vital refugee medevac laws are dead, with the government's claims there was "no secret deal" torpedoed by maverick senator Jacqui Lambie, who tearfully said there absolutely was.

Scott Morrison has left the door open to accepting a New Zealand offer to take refugees from offshore detention, as he welcomes support from Jacqui Lambie to support the repeal of medevac laws. "When I say I can't discuss it publicly due to national security concerns, I am being 100 per cent honest to you".

"Members of the Cabinet of Australia are coming in to vote on a deal that's been done with Senator Jacqui Lambie, that they don't even know about". Kristina Keneally (who has been openly hawkish about the continuation of offshore processing) said: "What you're voting on today will deny sick people treatment...it will deny sick people the opportunity to see a doctor and get treatment".

"The only undertaking we've given is to implement our policies - that is it", he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

It has been speculated the government could have agreed to send refugees from offshore processing to New Zealand after a similar arrangement with the United States has ended. "And we stood firm and went to an election and said, support the Coalition and we will repeal those laws and so today, we fulfilled that promise to the Australian people".

In opposing the repeal, opposition MPs said the government was "devoid of a heart". In a statement, the Senator suggested that a key condition had been met.

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

Opinion polls had proven that 62% of voters supported the legislation.

'There's been a deal between the Morrison government and Senator Lambie to drive a stake through the heart of medevac'.

"There is no secret deal, there is no secret", the Wiseau-esque words uttered by Matthais Cormann shortly before the repeal of the medevac bill is at best, prophetic, and at worst, absolute bull plop.

In the mind of Lambie, she could not erode the protection of our borders, and allow people to drown.

More than 460 people remain in limbo in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

Since 2013, the nation has despatched asylum seekers arriving by boat to detention centres on Nauru and Papua New Guinea (PNG). Under the legislation, two treating doctors could recommend a medical transfer to the Department of Home Affairs. An exception is a refusal by the Home Affairs Minister on character or national security grounds.

The Morrison government argues existing medical transfer provisions were adequate before the medevac laws were put in place and will not result in poorer treatment outcomes.

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