Dutton ready to repeal asylum seeker medevac laws

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is preparing to attempt to repeal asylum seeker medical transfer laws, with amendments to come before parliament on Thursday.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton wants to repeal the asylum seeker medical evacuation laws. (AAP)

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is pushing on with plans to scrap asylum seeker medical evacuation laws.

The home affairs minister will on Thursday present to parliament amendments aimed at unwinding changes enacted against his will earlier this year, when the government lacked a majority.


Mr Dutton argues the legislation will ensure the Australian government is able to determine who enters the country, and maintain the objectives of Operation Sovereign Borders.

, which gave doctors a greater say in granting medical transfers.

"We know that these laws are working," Labor's home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally told ABC radio.

"The medevac laws provide for sick people to get the healthcare that they need and for the minister to retain final discretion over who can come to the country."

The government has the numbers to push the changes through the lower house, but faces a tougher test in the Senate.

Jacqui Lambie in between two Centre Alliance senators
Jacqui Lambie sits with Centre Alliance Rex Patrick, Stirling Griff and Rebekah Sharkie during the official opening of the 46th Federal Parliament Source: AAP

Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie is again likely to prove the determinant factor, but is yet to reveal which way she will vote.

Senator Lambie has formed a loose alliance with the Centre Alliance minor party - which opposes repealing the laws - but is not bound to vote with them.

Meanwhile, the past fortnight has seen another 38 refugees flown from Manus Island to be resettled in the United States.

Refugee advocates say another 50 people are waiting in Port Moresby to be flown to the US.

Their departures takes the total of refugees resettled in the US to about 580.

Last month, Mr Dutton said 531 people had left offshore processing centres for the US, and a further 295 were approved to go.

Another 95 people had either pulled out of the Americans' "extreme vetting" process or turned down resettlement offers.

"I don't think we'll get to the 1250 because there's been ... over 300 that have been rejected by the United States," Mr Dutton said at the time.

2 min read
Published 3 July 2019 at 1:32pm