Australian govt campaigns to block bill on sick asylum seekers

Australian govt campaigns to block bill on sick asylum seekers

Agency News

Canberra, Feb 11 : Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison campaigned over the weekend to block a bid to allow asylum seekers in offshore camps to come to Australia for medical treatment, saying tough rules on migrants should not be eased.

Mr Morrison said the bill would "take control from the government", and "unleash a world of woe".

Australia has sent asylum seekers who arrive by boat to detention centres on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Manus, A report in BBC said.

"The problem with the bill is it takes control from the government and contracts it out to others who don't have those same interests or responsibilities," Mr Morrison said.

The detention centre on Nauru has been dogged by allegations of widespread abuse and trauma among children and women.

Australia's parliament is expected to vote on the bill on Tuesday.

Under the proposed changes, doctors would have the power to transfer refugees on Nauru and Manus to Australia for treatment.

However, the immigration minister could ask an independent panel to review the medical assessment, and would have authority to overrule it.

Mr Morrison criticised the proposal, which was passed in the Senate last year with the support of the opposition Labour party, saying it would lead to deaths at sea.

"They have no idea of the consequences of what they are playing with. They will unleash a world of woe again. I've seen it before," he said.

Defence Minister Christopher Pyne similarly voiced his opposition, saying the changes would lead migrants to come to Australia "one way or the other, saying they have a need to because of ill-health".(UNI)