I welcome the reports that all children are being removed from Nauru.
Community, refugee advocates and medical community resolve has generated this outcome, and has also been the reason for medical transfers from Nauru and Manus Island that we have seen already.
I hope the House next week will pass the amendments I sponsored with Senator McKim to the Home Affairs Bill in December. The bill will return decisions about the health of asylum seekers to those who always should have been making them in the first place – qualified, independent doctors (with ministerial veto if reasonably believes would harm security).
This does not jeopardise the security of our borders. The people smuggling trade has not resumed. For the sake of many in need on Nauru and Manus Island I hope the House of Representatives will now pass the “medical transfer” legislation already carried by the Senate.
The community overwhelmingly supports removing asylum seekers from Nauru and PNG. This was identified as a key issue in the Wentworth by-election. I would like to thank the Member for Wentworth for working with me to bring this amendment before the parliament.
It is proof, I believe, of the valuable role independents can play in our Parliament.