Asylum Seekers

Christmas Island’s Major Medical Boost

Potentially dangerous asylum seekers may have been hoping the recent changes in medical evacuation laws pushed through by Labor and the Greens would pave the way into Australia for them.

But they will find the government has already moved to keep that door closed.

As reported by AAP, the Sydney Morning Herald, and The Age, the Christmas Island detention centre is undergoing an expansion in order to cater for over 500 asylum seekers in need of medical attention.

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Expansion keeps asylum seekers off mainland

The expansion will bring 60 extra medical staff to the island, including 35 mental health professionals, a general surgeon and an anaesthetist. This will bring the total amount of staff at the facility to 72.

The aim, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, is to remove the need for any medivac transfers to the Aussie mainland.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says mainland detention centres are currently ‘full’ and cannot cater to the 1000 refugees detained on Manus Island and Nauru.

Morrison also noted that this large group would need to be detained in a ‘hardened facility’ as they would be ‘coming for vexatious reasons’.

An effort to keep dangerous detainees out of Australia

As such, the Christmas Island detention centre will be used to house detainees who are considered too dangerous to bring into mainland Australia.

Morrison said it was a means to prevent refugees ‘getting their hooks into the Australian legal system’, referring to the current legal injunction that removes the government’s authority to send back transfers after receiving medical treatment in Australia.

The Australian government have already identified almost 60 people of ‘questionable character’ who are eligible for the medivac transfer into the mainland, simply because they have only been accused of illicit action, not convicted.

It’s such technicalities that makes Morrison’s efforts to keep them all off the coast of WA that much more appealing and logical.

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The Australian Tribune Editorial

The Australian Tribune Editorial

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