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Medevac repeal is cruel, heartless and inhumane

Media Release

In a callous and vindictive political move the government has today torn down Medevac, with Senator Lambie finally voting with the government on the repeal.

This law, which was passed in February after a historic loss on the floor of the House of Representatives, was about doctors not Dutton making medical decisions for people offshore.

Nearly 200 people were able to get the medical care they needed under Medevac.

GetUp’s Human Rights Director Shen Narayanasamy said this government has torn down the small humanity of people being able to get the medical care they need:

“Today is a devastating day. What we’ve seen is Medevac, a law that has saved lives be ripped away.

“We all remember the crisis before Medevac became law, 12 people died offshore and people faced serious delays before they received medical treatment.

“The Morrison Government has chosen to deny sick people the right to medical care, against all expert medical advice. Medevac was by the overwhelming medical community and a majority of everyday Australians.

“Medevac ensured doctors, not Dutton, were the ones making medical decisions for gravely ill people off shore. To repeal this law isn’t just inhumane, it’s heartless.
“The political debate has been dominated by fear and lies spread vindictively by this government, it is disappointing that it’s led to politicians like Senator Lambie voting for the repeal.

“The reality is that we have more than 500 people in the offshore detention centres right now. They have been there for more than 6 years. They can not stay there forever.

“Right now, the true focus needs to be on the Government. They have held power while people have died on their watch.

“It is now up to the Australian government to make sure these people still have access to the medical care they were able to receive under Medevac. They deserve nothing but a safe and secure future and that is what this Government needs to do for them.”


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  1. New England Cocky

    This is disgusting politics by Lambie who from her own personal history should know firsthand about government neglect of the unemployed and disadvantaged.

    Perhaps the preferred solution is to bring all the refugees to mainland Australia and support them in the community while they integrate into our society. Being a refugee is NOT a crime and previous Australian governments have signed international conventions and supported refugee intakes.

    Presently the despised “people smugglers” are doing roaring trade flying in persons on visas who then “vanish” into Australian society.

    It is very much time for this Morriscum Lazy Nasty People misgovernment to be sent to Manus for incarceration for their treasonous and inhumane actions.

  2. pierre wilkinson

    at almost 1/2 a million dollars each to keep them incarcerated, it makes more sense to bring them here and help them integrate,
    yet Pauline spoke that it cost $100,000 each to bring them here for medical treatment and laments how much of that could be spent on true blue aussies, not illegals….
    shame Australia, shame

  3. MPagnol

    What horrors are this monstrous government yet to perpetrate?

  4. Ill fares the land

    I remain staggered by the intellectual limitations of Lambie and how she is a voice for her base. Her “voice” is the opinion-based, intellectually vacuous and flawed judgement of a boofhead in a dress and it is more disturbing that her supporter base displays the same set of flaws, but also that there are enough of them to get her into the parliament – and the same applies to Hanson, whose irrational shrieking points her realisation that she doesn’t have the power she craves in order to infect the parliamentary process with her biased opinions. Lambie might be able to play the political game more astutely the second time around, but she remains of such feeble intellect that she is still unable to fully assess the ramifications of her choices – the Dunning-Kruger Effect writ large. That the repeal of this legislation was no more than a puerile government, primarily Mr Potato Head and Messiah Morrison, exacting revenge for an embarrassing loss when the legislation was passed highlights both that in terms of the calibre of our elected members we have crossed the Rubicon and that we are heading for an apocalypse – the LNP, Lambie and Hanson has turned the parliament into a nasty, vengeful, incompetent and corrupt farce.

  5. Jack sprat

    So lets get this right ,it’s permissible for our government to invade and bomb these middle eastern countries based on a lie .but not ok to medically treat the refugees fleeing these conflicts in Australia .This from a Tory government which extols it’s Christianity at every given opportunity .Methinks I have misinterpreted the new testament completely ,then again I am just a confused atheist .

  6. king1394

    Lambie is just one senator. Blame the Liberals, Nationals, One Nation, and all the others first. Meanwhile the Ensuring Integrity Bill is already back in the House!

  7. John L

    I think this quote from the Guardian says it all:-

    “They’re laughing at you Lambie. The people that you prostrated yourself before and made a deal with. THEY got what they desperately wanted. YOU got the blame. How quickly and easily they sold you out on that deal. Quicker than Andrew O’Keefe used to ask Deal or No Deal.

    Or did you volunteer to take all the blame, all the disgust and all of they dismay that doctors are today expressing?

    They played you like a violin – these Government people that spared a Convicted Drug Trafficker from deportation but physically and mentally abuse legitimate asylum seekers. I’m surprised that didn’t outrage you and bring you to tears. I somehow thought it would.. ”

    Nobody, absolutely nobody, shifts blame like the Liberals.

  8. RomeoCharlie29

    I emailed Lambie to ask what grubby deal overrode the welfare of the legitimate asylum seekers, and why couldn’t Australians be told? I also congratulated her on assisting thisdiscredited Government to continue its inhumane treatment of the asylum seekers and finally pointed out that she had ensured Australia would continue to be shamed for its treatment of refugees. I concluded by saying “well done you”. Earlier I had appealed to Lambie not to vote against the Medevac legislation. I got an automated reply that said she took account of the wishes of Tasmanians first, being those who had elected her ( and me not being from Tasmania). While accepting that argument I noted that as a cross-bencher, and non aligned, I believed she represented all of Australia. Clearly my arguments fell on deaf ears. Well done, again, Jacquie Lambie (not, just in case the irony went unrecognised) btw, I concur with all of the comments posted above. I hope Lambie cops all the grief she deserves for this decision. Only the immediate relocation of all of these prisoners and their granting of visas, could justify her support.

  9. Neil

    Lambie is poorly informed. She doesn’t read and therefore is easily hoodwinked. China is the least of Australia’s problems, I suggest.

  10. Patricia

    Response to king1394

    Lambie had the deciding vote. She could have killed it for this session but she chose to sell out people who are already at risk, people who have done no wrong, most of whom have been assessed as genuine refugees by this government. Of the more than 500 people who are imprisoned by the Australian government for just seeking asylum less than 70 have been rejected as genuine asylum seekers.

    Lambie deserves all of the condemnation that she is getting and will get for this decision.

    It is expected that the liberals and nationals and PHON would support the repeal of this legislation, they are all after all, opposed to anything that might indicate some kind of humanity in their make up.

    It was hoped that Lambie would have some human decency and oppose the repeal. It would seem that she has none.

    It would seem that all politicians have their price, even if they do not have the intestinal fortitude to be honest and tell us what it is.

    The federal parliament has been used as a political weapon instead of what it was designed for, to pass legislation that would benefit both the people and the country.
    I cannot see how Australia’s standing on the world stage has been enhanced by this appallingly retrograde step.

  11. New England Cocky

    The political, emotional and social horror that this Lambie decision has created for LEGAL REFUGEES SEEKING POLITICAL ASYLUM from the Morriscum Lazy Nasty People misgovernment and the Australian people represents as heinous an act as the betrayal of Australian democracy by John Curr, Garfield Barwick CJ, Antony Mason J and Malcolm Fraser sacking the Whitlam ALP government in 1975. It is an expensive poor policy by a misgovernment claiming a Christian heritage but living as self-serving egomaniacs with their snouts in the Parliamentary Allowances Scheme for personal enrichment.

  12. Terence Mills

    Morrison chose to lie in his media conference, saying that this repeal was all about national security and keeping our borders safe.

    Let’s be clear, the Medevac legislation always gave Dutton final veto on security grounds for anybody seeking medical care in Australia and the legislation only ever applied to those currently on Manus and Nauru not any new arrivals.

    Morrison as a supposed religious man has to now make peace with his God after blatantly telling lies to the Australian nation.

  13. Matters Not

    Perhaps the telling of untruths is in the eye of the beholder? And that in itself can tell us much about the nature of a particular beholder.

    Much rejoicing in the old town tonight. Why, they’ve even identified a patsy in Taylor’s office to take the rap.

    While it’s been some time, remember that: Revenge is a dish best served cold. So it’s Dutton for Prime Minister. Can’t and won’t be beaten. What a man.

  14. george theodoridis

    I didn’t think this country could ever sink so low but today I was proven wrong.
    This is not a parliament, it is a congregation of charlatans, protected by laws they themselves have made, so as to make laws that insult, disgust, brutalise and treat with unmitigated malice their employers, us!
    This is not a parliament, it is a stockyard where human rights are traded as if they were sheep and cattle.
    This is not a parliament, it is a circus where the clowns throw rotten tomatoes at the crowd.
    This is not a parliament!

    Non credo concilii. quidquid id est timeo senatores et dona ferentes!
    (with apologies to Virgil)

  15. John Lord

    Given Jackie Lambie’s cruel and heartless decision not to support medical treatment for asylum seekers in Australia it makes one wonder if instead of having a government of compassion and transparency we have one of secrecy with a police state mentality. Was there a deal or not. The government needs to come clean.

  16. wam

    The balance of power is to tread a fine line from blackmail.a fine line from corruption and a fine line from not understanding the consequences. Thanks boobby!
    Labor needs to be vigilant and take every opportunity to be awake to the Jacqui and Pauline thoughts and to treat them with the respect their position deserves.
    I wonder if there is a twinge of conscience in any loonie like narrownose today ranting about deals?
    My memory says the loonies blackmailed labor and gave the rabbott another boost with climate denying and juliar.

  17. Gregory Bradley

    Clearly the political “base” is the correct term.
    The basest of the base.

  18. Michael Taylor

    Today is one of those days when the heart sinks a little bit lower.

  19. johno

    Compassion and empathy from Australia have been thrown out the back door.

  20. Carol Taylor

    From leaked snippets, apparently the deal with Lambie is that once the US offer is exhausted then the government will take up the NZ offer. Firstly, will Trump ever honour Obama’s agreement? Given Trump’s current policy of separating children from parents and indefinite detention, the hope is not high. So presumably Lambie has appraised herself of the Trump situation and has given Morrison a timeline and especially a commitment as to this timeline. Or if not, then Lambie has sold her soul to the Devil.

  21. george theodoridis

    I must say, I am deeply gratified by the responses here but –

    My cynicism, alas, has constructed an imaginary scenario which is just too disturbing to dismiss it very easily.
    I am imagining, that right now, all the pollies, from the LNP and Labor, the harpies, Jacqui and Pauline included -but not the Greens, I shudder to hope- are at a pub clinking glasses of wines of all colours, ports of every age and liqueurs of every flavour, of spirits from every corner of the world and singing shanties that were sung by the pirates of yore!

    Because they’re all pirates!

    Like I said, blame my cynicism.

  22. Lambchop Simnel

    Re Ill Fares’comment.

    One theory is that Lambie wanted the government to allow NZ and other more generous places to take the remainder stranded at detention sites starting with Nauru in return for her support.

    Was it what she was talking about when she said she had made a “deal” with the government (Or just paper shuffling for a few more grants for hard up Tassie) ?

    By the rant, her new pal Hanson abandoned her to Cormann and the other LNP wolves.

    Thing is, would Lambie have had the intellectual equipment and/or will, also given her background, to see through and resist the LNP “Border Security” bullshit and other heavying they no doubt employed against her?

    This “deal” we are not allowed to know about despite this law being written and paid for by us in our name, however, is denied by Mathias Cormann.

    Who is lying here?

    Surely not Matthias, who we know for sure NEVER lies?

    I still wonder if the sorry saga has been played out, it seems it could drag on like the Taylor episode if there is a lie from the government, the renegation, because may be Lambie may have a skerrick of pride left to resent being patsied and made a fool of on something she thought may end the suffering at the DT centres (if she indeed felt that way).


    Mean while, under the radar, slips the information that we are now truly in recession and no prospects for a solution under government policy.

  23. roma guerin

    I am very distressed by the repeal of Medevac. It seems obvious that Sen Lambie has capitulated to the brainwashing of the bullies in Govt. I am not at all sure, as some would have it, that she is totally and completely responsible. She is not the only Senator, or MP, with a limited understanding of their job. The level of intelligence, more broadly, equates to the level of intelligence of the voter. Sen Lambie will be subject to pillorying from far and wide, but she will also get at least as many messages of support. In the meantime, sick refugees will go quietly insane and some may die, and half of Australia will move on to the next scandal, just as soon as they get over their xmas binge. I weep for my country.

  24. Lambchop Simnel

    Sorry, I see Carol Taylor is already onto the aspect I mentioned, so presumably others also. My apologies.

    For the rest, that snippet sprouted from Jack spratt at 3.00.

    Time for an “Ensuring Integrity ” Bill, also after the garbage from Angus Taylor earlier who knew full where the forged expenditure sheet came from( if he did not cook it up himself), but lied till he was black in the face to Parliament over.

    Lies over “National security”and rank corruption.

    Lies over smear campaigns with ministers Taylor and Cash caught out red handed.

    The smear campaigns themselves.

    I think the likes of Cormann and Porter need to look a little closer to home before ensuring the behaviours of scapegoats far less vicious than themselves.

  25. Matters Not

    Hansen will be remembered for her response to the use of xenophobiaPlease Explain? One wonders what word, words or phrases Mike Pezzullo employed to get the deal done. For certain, Pezzullo being the master tactician will have many political back-doors or escape clauses within the agreed text.

    Jacqui, despite all her front is still the proverbial babe in the woods. Too easy.

  26. Lambchop Simnel

    Yes, Matters Not.

    So much hinges on whether Lambie’s tears were real or crocodile, but Hanson made no attempt to restrain her redneck comments on the subject.

  27. Zathras

    I realise that she cast only one of many votes but above all else Lambie has mainly been an attention seeker.

    Let’s see what sort of attention she gets and how she reacts when the next refugee dies on Manus due to medical complications.
    Morrison and his crew are immune to such things but she is probably is not.

  28. whatever

    Obnoxious bratty kids making up rules about who DOESN’T get in to their cubby-house.

  29. John O'Callaghan

    Lambie will have to live with this decision for the rest of her miserable life and will be forever known as the whore who prostituted herself to the Liberal party for a price that can never ever be justified under any circumstance.

  30. george theodoridis

    @Vikingduk. A precisely described of her character!

  31. Cool Pete

    Dutton’s an EVIL BASTARD!

  32. Wobbley

    Has anyone considered that there may be a connection between the medivac bill and the union busting bill? I smell a rat. I think the fascists are on the cusp of getting both bullshit bills through thanks to yellow lamb.

  33. Dave G.

    The Libs all congratulating themselves on getting this passed,look at Lambie she looks as though she has been been told she has two weeks to live.Why isn’t she as happy as they are?After all she’s the one who made it all possible.It’s hard not to see some really dark deeds at foot here’ the Libs have more than enough form in that department.

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