Tasmanian Times


Medical Transfer Bill: test for Coalition Government

Satire: Jon Kudelka, https://www.kudelka.com.au/ used with permission

Tasmanian Refugee Rights Action Group

After more than five years of indefinite detention many people held on Nauru and Manus Island have developed serious mental health issues and other health problems.  Tasmania’s Refugee Rights Action Group along with many other groups around the country supports a new approach to ensure that these people can receive the care they require, and is urging politicians to vote for the Medical Transfers Bill this week.

“The welfare of these seriously ill people is Australia’s responsibility” says Carol Bristow  “For too long the Government has denied people the health care they need, resulting in the preventable deaths of several young men on Manus Island and Nauru. Holding people indefinitely, with no hope for the future has caused terrible suffering and despair”

Only yesterday we heard from Behrouz Boochani that “23 detainees from Manus are in the local hospital, two critically ill and unconscious with no medical support.”

Australia can bring an end to this suffering.

Anticipating losing a vote in the House of Reps when Parliament returns this week, the Prime Minister and others have launched an outrageous misinformation and scare campaign.

In addition the Government is also claiming the transfers of these people would be hugely expensive, but fails to mention that Senate Estimates show that offshore arrangements cost more than $5billion (2012-2017), and $2.65billion in 2016-17.  The cost of community detention onshore is tiny fraction of that amount.

The Scaremongering must end; Australia’s International Reputation needs to be restored and after five long years People seeking Asylum need to be treated humanely. (Carol Bristow)

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  1. Rob Halton

    February 13, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    This is high risk politics and what is a misconceived policy by Bill Shorten that ensures border protection will be elevated as a front line issue for the election.

    It is a classic case of why I dont think an Independent like Kerryn Phelps should be in the Parliament.

    Currently the existing system of medical transfers occur on a case by case basis, on the advice of treating doctors in PNG and Nauru and in consultation with a medical officer of the Commonwealth, who sits on the Transitory Persons Committee!

    With the Phelps bill, allows two doctors to demand the transfer of a refugee or asylum seeker, with their family members, to Australia,!

    If the Phelps Bill is passed it makes the process too easy for bringing those from Manus Is to Australia, it seems to open a can of worms as each and every person would claim illness with regards of their own asylum or refugee situation as assessed by the Australian authorities, whether genuine or not!
    There is no doubt that Phelps aims to remove ALL of those persons to Australian, the words gets out overseas, the flood gates will open for many arrivals by boat, plane or any other means despite the fact the proposed legislation is designed to limit those on Manus Island.

    Shorten will do anything to become PM to divert attention away from the real issues affecting everyday Australians.

    Be warned that Bill Shorten is a dud, and I suspect that voters will wake up to this before the Federal Election and drift away from Labor and some of the Independents too!

    I cant recall the numbers but I think that Australia already accepts around 12,000 refugees and asylum seekers per annum through an approval process to come to Australia, and that is the way it should be! Fair enough!

  2. Rob Halton

    February 13, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Russell, REALLY,, Doctors and doctors only who make the decision for treatment or SETTLEMENT, not any government Minister or bureaucrat!

    By taking that stance you are definitely encouraging both border and national security issues ultimately endangering the Australian community!

    We are at a stage with persons like Dr Phelps who orchestrated this business in the first place now influencing our political representatives that doctors replacing Ministers, this is a dangerous piece of parliamentary chit chat that has been allowed to get out of hand that could see our borders left open for all sorts of abuse.

    It is a certainty without any shadow of doubt that there will be significant withdrawals to follow once it sinks in assuming the Senate passes this legislation in haste before the Federal election.

    Its risky business to even guess what will happen now if the legislation is passed, just how many Australians will be sucked in by Dr Phelps ambition to override national security and border force issues for those voting for the upcoming Federal election..

    • max

      February 13, 2019 at 2:01 pm

      Rob Halton… Lets put this in perspective, Would you get on a leaky boat, risk drowning, to be incarcerated on a tiny island with indefinite detention and have to go before a panel of doctors who might, or might not fly you to Australia if you were to sick to be treated on the island. If you were passed as being too sick to be treated and came to Australia for treatment and know you would be sent back when cured, would you get on that leaky boat?
      On the other hand why wouldn’t you give the money that the people smugglers charge and buy a visa.
      There are enough illegal immigrants living in Australia to fill a large regional city, and nearly all of these 58,400 people arrive by plane.
      The Morrison border control ploy is nothing but a farce to try and get the gullible to vote for an out of touch failing party.
      Known criminal have been coming to Australia for years, Ronald Arthur Biggs comes to mind. Our border protection might have stopped the boat people but terrorists and known criminals fly here.
      AS a foot note… I have worked on Nauru it is in no way a idealistic tropical paradise, the boat people are in a prison surrounded by people who if they don’t hate them only put up with them for financial rewards. There is no fresh water other than what is shipped there, no soil to grow any thing other than coconuts. Hot and humid with little or no rain and these incarcerated people are totally dependent on food and water for cooking, drinking or washing.To these people it is hell on earth. The only crime they committed was trying to survive and it costs us, the tax payers $500,000 a year for every individual kept there.

    • Wining Pom

      February 13, 2019 at 4:09 pm

      A headline in the Betoota Advocate;
      Opportunistic Refugee Inspired By Medivac Bill To Get Lost At Sea, Spend 5 Years In Nauru, Develop Excruciating Illness And Then Maybe Briefly Come To Australia For Medical Treatment Under Armed Guard.
      A lot of truth in comedy.
      What will get people smugglers thinking is a government screaming that the borders are opening again. But then, a few boats arriving is exactly what the government want. Will they order the navy to let a few through? I wouldn’t put anything past this mob.

    • Russell

      February 14, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      I suppose you and your ancestors are proof of what destruction and devastation foreigners could wreak upon this land, Robin.

      Bring on the Federal election! If the Liberals really thought they had any chance they would already have called one, but they’re all holding out for as long as possible while praying for a miracle.

      I predict it will be the biggest political slaughter of an incumbent party in Australian history.

  3. Russell

    February 12, 2019 at 9:05 am

    It should be up to doctors, and doctors only, who decide who needs to be taken from the detention centres to Australia for treatment or settlement, not any government Minister or bureaucrat.

    It really smacks of a reborn White Australia Policy where anyone of colour wasn’t actually refused entry due to the colour of their skin, but the immigration officers would fail whoever they wished by giving them “dictation tests” in different languages until they found a language the applicant didn’t know.

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