Morrison not in a hurry to end the disgrace of Nauru

Morrison is a leader in a hurry – but not to end the disgrace of Nauru

With a mark to make and byelection to win, the PM is making haste, but that doesn’t extend to children in detention


We’ve had a royal commission into aged care even before a nasty Four Corners report went to air. In response to the zeitgeist issue of the week – strawberries – there were new penalties for food tampering, cooked up in the blink of an eye. Then a truckload of cash for Catholic schools – never mind whether or not that’s good policy. The Morrison operation is moving so fast it won’t even give a commitment to offsetting the $4.6bn in schools spending.

But not everything gets a rapid response.

Morrison received a letter this week from the president of the Australian Medical Association, Tony Bartone, pleading for the government to step in and address the “humanitarian emergency” unfolding on Nauru. “Humanitarian emergency” were Bartone’s words, and doctors, in my experience, use their words advisedly.

Bartone made it clear he was intervening because his membership, the medical profession, were in a state of “agitation” (again, his word) about what was going on in offshore immigration detention centres. There had been an escalation in reports of “catastrophic mental and physical health conditions being experienced by the asylum seekers, especially children”.

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