Australia’s right-wing anti-refugee government’s defeat


This 11 February 2019 video says about itself:

Government on verge of historic defeat | Nine News Australia

The Morrison Government appears set for a historic defeat on a bill which would release asylum seekers from off-shore detention on medical advice. The Prime Minister says Labor’s support of the bill proves it is a threat to border security.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Historical defeat of Australian government on asylum legislation

The Australian government has suffered a historic defeat in the House of Commons. For the first time in 78 years, the opposition has defeated the government in an important vote.

The House of Commons voted on a law that provides asylum seekers in detention camps on two islands in the Pacific with improved access to medical assistance. The law would make it easier for them to be transferred to the Australian mainland for treatment.

The minority [right-wing] government of Prime Minister Morrison, which pursues a harsh anti-immigration policy, is fiercely opposed to the amendment of the law. …

Since 2013, Australia refuses to accept migrants who come to the country with boats. The refugees are sent to detention centers on the islands of Nauru and Manus in the Pacific Ocean. The Australian government says it wants to discourage the practices of human smugglers in Asia.

However, in practice the Australian government works hand in glove with human smugglers in attacking refugees, paying the people smugglers with Australian taxpayers’ money.

There have been protests against the detention camps for years, because the conditions are very bad. Doctors say that the medical facilities are not sufficient and the United Nations has called the situation in the camps inhuman.

Final decision

The new law would make it easier for migrants who are stuck in the camps to get medical help on the Australian mainland. In the old situation, the Minister of Home Affairs determined who was eligible; [in the new law] a medical committee would make the final decision.

In recent years, some 500 people have been transferred to Australia for medical reasons.

Senate

The Senate will vote on the amendment later this week. It is expected that a majority of parliamentarians there will also support the adjustment.

Prime Minister Morrison has already said that he does not intend to resign if the law would be finally passed. Elections were already planned for this spring.

The federal Liberal-National Coalition government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison suffered a blow on Tuesday, when it lost a vote on legislation amending the Migration Act in the House of Representatives. The Senate passed the laws the following day: here.

Last weekend, less than three months before a general election must be held, two more cabinet ministers announced their departures from Australia’s Liberal-National Coalition government. That took to six the number of top-level ministers or ex-ministers who have made similar declarations in the past month that they will not contest the looming election. The corporate media depicted the resignations as simply “more rats deserting a sinking ship,” pointing to media polls predicting the government’s defeat. More fundamentally, however, the desertions point to an intensifying breakup of the Liberal and National parties and a deep crisis of the entire Australian political establishment: here.

The in-fighting tearing apart the city-based Liberal Party within Australia’s governing Liberal-National Coalition visibly spread to the regional-based National Party this week: here.

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