MEDIA RELEASE

RURAL AUSTRALIANS FOR REFUGEES DENOUNCE REPEAL OF THE MEDEVAC LEGISLATION

Wednesday, 4 December 2019.

Today the Senate voted to repeal the Medevac legislation which passed into law in February. This legislation allowed for doctors appointed by the Home Affairs Minister to
recommend medical transfer to Australia for sick refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru and in Papua New Guinea. “Removing this one small piece of humanity in our off-shore detention program is shocking and cruel” said Louise Redmond, National President of Rural Australians for Refugees. “Before this legislation, refugee advocates had to rely on legal action to get adequate medical treatment for people who are Australia’s responsibility. 12 people have died, but none since Medevac was introduced.”
These people continue to be Australia’s responsibility, not Papua New Guinea’s. If the Australian Government will not provide adequate medical care, it’s time to send these people, detained for over six years, to a country that will provide humane care. New Zealand has consistently offered to take 150 refugees, yet the Australian Government refuses to accept this offer.

Rural Australians for Refugees calls on the Australian Government to accept the New Zealand offer and to work urgently to find a safe haven for people seeking to escape war, persecution and trauma. “They have suffered enough” said Louise Redmond. “Surely this cruelty is not who we are as Australians. We have thousands of members living through drought, bushfires and tough times in rural Australia, yet we stand in outrage at the treatment these refugees are given by our Government”.

Support the CALL TO ACTION

Thursday, 28 November 2019.
This week Government postponed Medevac repeal legislation in the Senate. It may still be presented to the Senate next week.

We cannot allow the repeal of legislation that is saving lives with critical medical treatment.
A petition was presented to Senator Jacqui Lambie this week by her Tasmanian Constituents.

A report out today suggested that Senator Lambie may support the idea of #toNZ, a campaign RAR has been promoting as this would have a good outcome for people who have been trapped offshore for far too long.

What can you do now?

  • And post encouraging, hopeful messages about “Integrity and Humanity” on your Social Media.

Recently Rural Australians for Refugees held an inspiring, all night vigil outside Parliament House.

This lifesaving law has meant that doctors, not politicians decide treatment for people offshore. As politicians return to Canberra, we’re going to make sure it’s voices of quiet Australians from the bush they remember. – Louise Redmond, National President, Rural Australians for Refugees

Since Medevac has been in place, no-one has died from medical neglect offshore because doctors have worked with the department to prioritise medical need over politics.

Join the movement to Save Medevac.

Together we will make sure people held offshore get the medical care they need.

P.S. If you haven’t already, please sign the two Save Medevac petitions to federal MP – HERE and HERE.

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