That no Australian government in almost a decade has successfully brought this policy to a formal close is astonishing. In fact, Australia ceased transferring new arrivals offshore in 2014.
This excessive spending raises serious raise questions about the government’s long-term planning for refugees stuck in limbo.
If history is any guide, the new US president’s forward-thinking approach toward refugee resettlement could help drive Australia’s commitments to refugee protection, too.
The government claims the bill is needed to make detention centres safer. But it would strip away a vital lifeline for people already 200 times more likely to self-harm than the Australian community.
Now that medevac has been repealed, people will once again rely on ministerial discretion for a medical transfer.
A Senate report details the high need for refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to be able to seek medical care in Australia. The fate of the medevac law now rests in Jacqui Lambie’s hands.
The government would be willing to put a feast on the table to get a win on the medevac repeal, but this is a piece of legislation on which Lambie should not contemplate any deals.
With parliament sitting next week, the home affairs minister is pressuring Labor to support a repeal of the medevac law. But the law has worked just as it was intended.
Current responses to the world’s refugee crisis are inhumane and ineffective. We propose five ways forward to help the world’s most vulnerable people.
Dutton continues to insist the government could be compelled under the medevac legislation to transfer criminals, although the legislation gives the minister power to veto people on security grounds.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison can learn from the pitfalls that contributed to the downfall of the Rudd and Gillard governments.
It’s critical that the Australian government take a new direction in refugee policy and move beyond its tired rhetoric of deterrence as a justification for detaining refugees on Nauru and Manus.
This verbatim drama presenting the stories of eight Iranian asylum seekers detained on their island prisons delivers uncomfortable home truths.
He is not, however, being accompanied by Home Affairs
Minister Peter Dutton, who leads much of the campaigning on the issue.
Since the Tampa affair in 2001, successive governments have been anxious to be seen as “hard-line” on asylum seekers, but the cost – to people and the country – has been too high.
Deep Saini and Michelle Grattan talk about the week in politics.
If the government really intends to “reopen” Christmas Island in any major way, it could find itself spending a lot of money there on few if any people.
A refugee law expert on a week of ‘reckless’ rhetoric and a new way to process asylum seeker claims.
The Conversation44 MB (download)
Today on Trust Me, I'm An Expert, a refugee legal expert busts myths about how proposed medical transfer rules would work, and described some of this week's border security rhetoric as 'reckless'.
Kerryn Phelps on the medical transfers bill.
Phelps describes Scott Morrison's proposal to reopen the Christmas Island detention facility as a "political statement".
A bill to allow for asylum seeker on Nauru and Manus Island to be transferred to Australia for medical and psychiatric treatment has passed both Houses. How will it change things for those detained?