Senator Jacqui Lambie will stymie the Federal Government’s attempt to repeal Australia’s refugee medevac laws unless a single change is made.
Senator Jacqui Lambie will stymie the Federal Government’s attempt to repeal Australia’s refugee medevac laws unless a single change is made.

Lambie delivers medevac law ultimatum

Australia's refugee medevac laws hang in the balance with Jacqui Lambie confirming she will torpedo a push to repeal them unless changes are made.

The Tasmanian crossbench senator, who holds the deciding vote over whether the laws remain in place, issued an ultimatum to the government on Wednesday.

She will vote to keep the controversial laws, against the government's bid to repeal them, unless it made a single change.

"The condition I have put to the government is a sensible and reasonable proposition, that I have arrived at through extensive consultation," Senator Lambie said.

"I am of the firm and conclusive view that the continuing operation of the medevac provisions cannot be disrupted without this condition being met."

Senator Jacqui Lambie has the controlling vote over whether the medevac laws are repealed. Picture Kym Smith
Senator Jacqui Lambie has the controlling vote over whether the medevac laws are repealed. Picture Kym Smith

Senator Lambie confirmed she backed the Coalition's border protection strategy, saying offshore processing "protects our borders" and "boat turnbacks work".

But she clarified she did not think refugee medical transfer laws undermined Australia's border.

The laws enable two doctors to sign off on transferring sick refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to the mainland.

"The Government has made clear to me that it has concerns with the way that Medevac is functioning. I recognise those concerns.

"In recognition, I have proposed to the Government the only condition on which I will support the repeal of the medevac legislation.

"If that condition is met, I will vote in favour of the repeal of medevac.

"If that condition is not met, I will oppose the repeal of medevac."

Senator Lambie would not publicly state her condition at this stage, given it involves national security.

But she said she would "not entertain any alternative" option.


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