Labor’s refugees will flood into Australia
Partially driven by MP Phelps, Labor and the bloody Greens, that cabal of loonies will allow only two activist doctors to open our borders and Centrelink to all that choose to country shop. Make no mistake about that!
Federal Government frontbencher Christopher Pyne claims all asylum seekers and refugees on Manus Island and Nauru could “qualify” to travel to Australia, if the Opposition continues to support a contentious bill about medical transfers. On the last sitting day of Parliament for 2018, the Senate agreed to amendments to a Government bill that would give doctors a greater say on whether an asylum seeker should be brought to Australia for medical treatment.
Christopher Pyne warns all asylum seekers and refugees on Manus and Nauru could ‘qualify’ under medical transfer bill
Although it has not been listed for debate, that bill could come to a vote in the House of Representatives this week, testing the Government’s control of Parliament ahead of the election.
Mr Pyne was repeatedly questioned how he could back up the Coalition’s argument that about 1,000 people on Manus Island and Nauru were so unwell that doctors would recommend they be moved to Australia.
“They could all qualify,” he told the ABC’s Insiders program.
“The bottom line is, we’re not prepared to weaken border protection.
“Because of this Government’s policies, we’ve stopped the boats, because of temporary protection visas, because of offshore processing, because of boat turn backs.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison tried to provide an alternative to the legislation that passed last year, offering to establish a new medical panel that would provide advice about the health of asylum seekers.
That panel would not be able to overrule a minister, giving the Government the final say in any transfer decision.
Mr Pyne argued the amendments already agreed to by the Senate would take that power away, and fuel the people smuggling trade.
“What they’ll find is that they will be able to appeal the Minister’s use of his discretion, Labor knows that,” he said.
“They’ll all be caught up in the court system, they’ll be coming to Australia one way or the other saying that they have a need to because of ill-health.”
Labor says Government is desperate ahead of sitting week
Labor has fired back, accusing the Government of desperation.
“Clearly, Labor’s position with regards to medical evacuations has not changed,” Opposition frontbencher Julie Collins told reporters in Hobart.
“We have two objectives; one, to make sure [refugees and asylum seekers] get the medical treatment that they need when they’re sick and, two, to ensure that there remains ministerial discretion over those decisions.”
The amendments agreed to in the Senate echo a private member’s bill put forward by Independent MP Kerryn Phelps.
“Boats never stopped trying to get here,” Dr Phelps tweeted, criticising Mr Pyne’s assessment of the situation.
“If any boat arrives between now and Election Day it will be a failure of Operation Sovereign Borders.
“Boat turn backs and tow backs are an effective deterrent.”