MEDEVAC REPORT PROVES PETER DUTTON’S BEEN LOOSE WITH THE TRUTH

14 November 2019

SENATOR THE HON KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
 
 
MEDEVAC REPORT PROVES PETER DUTTON’S BEEN LOOSE WITH THE TRUTH
 
Peter Dutton’s desperate attempts to spread mistruths about Medevac have been blown out of the water by the latest report from the Independent Health Advice Panel –  a panel of seven doctors appointed by Peter Dutton himself.
 
The report, tabled in the Senate yesterday afternoon, clearly states:
 
“Any transitory person who is brought to Australia for a temporary purpose must be detained whilst in Australia. That detention must continue until the time of the person's removal from Australia or until the person is granted a visa.”
 
This flies in the face of Peter Dutton’s claims about Medevac on Sky News on 22 October 2019:
 
DUTTON: The most dangerous con, in my view, is that people can't go back… I can't deport them back, and that's the law that Labor has provided.
 
Medevac transfers are clearly for a temporary purpose and Peter Dutton has the ability to return a transfer to a Regional Processing Country at any time.
 
SPEERS: Under the law though, you don't need to have a medical - you can detain them, can't you?
DUTTON: No, but the medical advice in some cases will be that if an individual is here for mental health issues, even if they're of bad character, their advice may be not to have them in an immigration detention centre, but they...
SPEERS: You can't ignore that and just detain them?
DUTTON: Well, in some cases, you can, but look, I don't make decisions about, you know, those issues.
 
All Medevac transferees must be detained in immigration detention by law, unless Peter Dutton approves their release from detention. This is designed to keep the Australian community safe.
 
The report also shows the IHAP upheld Minister Dutton’s decision to deny a transfer on medical grounds in the majority of cases (45 of 57 cases considered) in the 1 July through 30 September 2019 period.
 
Labor supports the current Medevac laws because they allow sick people to get the medical care they need and ensure the Government, or Government-appointed doctors, control who comes to Australia.
 
Facts matter when it comes to Medevac and every claim Peter Dutton makes about Medevac doesn’t stack up.