The news that the Medivac amendments have been carried by the federal parliament is being celebrated on Manus and Nauru, tonight.
There are twenty-five men in PIH hospital in Port Moresby that must be immediately transferred to Australia.
Most of them have been waiting many months for treatment they cannot get in Port Moresby.
Similarly, on Nauru, sick people have been wilfully denied medical treatment, sometimes cases for years.
Now the government must move quickly to respect the Parliament’s vote, end their stalling and obstruction, and transfer the sick refugees and asylum seekers to the mainland.
“Political interference to prevent medical treatment has cost lives in offshore detention. It was shocking to see Morrison repeat the lies about medical treatment on Manus and Nauru, when the basic facilities can’t even provide proper treatment for their local people. Court orders have forced the government to transfer sick people becausee treatment was not available on Manus or Nauru,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.
“Defeating the Morrison government is a step forward for decency and common sense, but now we have to deal with offshore detention itself. It is offshore detention that has robbed years from the lives of everyone sent to Manus and Nauru; has robbed children of a future; and has robbed so many of their mental health.
“Offshore detention is not about ‘border protection’ ; it has always been a political football used by the Coalition government to try and keep itself in power. Labor’s amendments to the Medivac bill were concessions to the spurious arguments of the government about national security and border protection. They were not necessary, and reflect that Labor remains committed to offshore detention.
“The Medivac bill hopefully will see many sick people brought to Australia in the coming days. But the asylum seekers should never have been sent to Manus and Nauru in 2013.
“It’s time to end the horror of offshore detention and bring all those on Manus and Nauru to Australia where they can get the protection they need.”
Refugee Rallies will be held around Australia onPalm Sunday, Sunday 14 April, to to close Manus and Nauru, and call for an end to offshore detention
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713