Australia Revokes Medical Evacuations for Offshore Detainees

Greens Senator Nick Mc Kim and Senator Jacqui Lambie

There will be no change to our strong national security arrangements.

Similarly, Christian social justice movement Common Grace said it was "time for medical ethics to take precedence over politics".

"The repeal of the "Medevac" Bill signals a return to unnecessary suffering and a permanent resettlement pathway for all those refugees in detention is now desperately needed".

AN emotional Jacqui Lambie has explained her decision to back the Federal Government in repealing Medevac laws.

"I'm not being coy or silly when I say I genuinely can't say what I proposed. When I say I can't discuss it publicly due to national security concerns, I am being 100 per cent honest to you".

They can never settle in Australia, even if they are found to be refugees.

Advocate groups condemned the government's decision to repeal the law, saying it was a "callous and vindictive" political move to end the medical evacuation system that had seen nearly 200 people transferred to Australia for treatment.

"I'm not anxious about the politics of this issue, I'm anxious about the people, the patients here at the centre of this system".

"This was always a law that consisted of getting people through the back door, and today we have closed that back door", Peter Dutton, minister of internal affairs, told reporters in Canberra, the capital.

Polls show that 62% of voters support the law.

He then attacked the Labor party's record on border protection, saying they had sent women and children to Manus Island.

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Jacqui Lambie sided with the government, paving the way for the bill to be introduced.

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

"The parliament and the Australian people have a right to know what this secret deal is", she said.

With the government now being accused of reaching a secret deal with the senator, Rita Panahi tells Steve Price the public has a right to know the truth.

"The public has a right to know if the Government and the Prime Minister have done a backflip and made a decision to accept the New Zealand offer - they should announce that".

Christian asylum seeker advocates are disappointed with the repeal, though they remain hopeful about rumours Lambie negotiated a deal with the Government to accept New Zealand's offer to permanently resettle asylum seekers from Manus and Nauru.

But Finance Minister Mathias Cormann denied making a secret deal. "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".

"Someone is misleading the Senate about one of the most important pieces of legislation that has been before this Parliament".

Australia sends anyone attempting to arrive in the country by boat to Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

Under the offshore arrangements, there are now just over 200 people in Papua New Guinea and more than 250 on Nauru.

It reported that as of Monday, 466 asylum-seekers and refugees were held offshore - 208 in PNG and 258 on Nauru - of which 234 had applied for a medical transfer.

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