Lambie backs the scrapping of Medivac
Jacqui Lambie Network Senator Jacqui Lambie during debate on the Medivac Bill in the Senate chamber at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, December 4, 2019. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)
Tasmanian Independent Jacqui Lambie has backed the Federal Government's push to scrap the "Medivac" laws.
Senator Lambie negotiated a deal with the government, but can't reveal the details for national security reasons.
Medivac was introduced earlier this year, when Labor managed to rustle the numbers to pass the legislation.
Under the laws, doctors were granted the power to recommend an asylum-seeker or refugee in PNG and Nauru be transferred to Australia for medical treatment. The government expressed concern people complaining of trivial medical issues were being approved by doctors for transfer. 171 people applied for transfer under the Labor and Greens-backed Medivac laws.
An emotional Senator Lambie told Parliament, the policy was always flawed.
"I'm not being coy or silly when I say I genuinely can't say what I proposed. I know that's frustrating to people and I get that. I don't like holding things back like this, but when I say I can't discuss it publicly due to national security concerns, I am being 100 per cent honest to you," she said.
Labor's Home Affairs Minister Kristina Keneally said the government had clinched a deal with Jacqui Lambie and Australians needed to know what it was.
"If the Prime Minister has done a backflip, if he has decided to accept New Zealand's offer to take refugees on Manus and Nauru, that is a change in policy, he should announce it to the Australian people," she said.
Senator Lambie refused to comment on whether New Zealand resettlement was part of her negotiations.