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“We are going to see a very large number of people coming to Australia” – David Coleman on the Medivac bill

Justin Smith
Article image for “We are going to see a very large number of people coming to Australia” – David Coleman on the Medivac bill

The Morrison government suffered a crushing blow last week after losing a vote in the House of Representatives on Kerryn Phelps’ Medivac bill.

David Coleman, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs told Macquarie Weekly’s Justin Smith that the legislation will lead to an influx of people transferring from Manus and Nauru to Australia.

“The practical reality is we are going to see a very large number of people coming to Australia for medical assessment,” he said.

Mr Coleman added that the Medivac bill is “a law that is designed to dismantle offshore processing,” and international people smugglers will seek to market that opportunity.

Under the new law, two doctors must recommend a person is transferred to Australia for medical assessment. If the Home Affairs Minister disagrees with the request for medical transfer, it goes to a volunteer medical panel who determine whether it is appropriate.

Previously, the Home Affairs committee was charged with deciding whether or not medical transfer requests went ahead.

Mr Coleman expressed fears that the new law is too easy for people in detention to exploit.

“There’s no limit to the number of doctors that a person on Manus or Nauru could consult, so they could go and see 20 different doctors until they get two certificates,” he said.

Press PLAY below to hear Justin’s full interview with Minister David Coleman.

Justin Smith
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