Statement on the repeal of Medevac

5 December 2019

The Australian Council of Social Service joins many others in condemning the Australian Government’s repeal of life-saving Medevac laws.

ACOSS acknowledges the courage and determination of all of the individuals and organisations who work tirelessly to secure justice for people seeking asylum and refugees, living in intolerable conditions in offshore detention. 

ACOSS also assures people detained offshore that the Australian community will not rest until a safe and permanent home and future has been secured for everyone who remains on Manus and Nauru.

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said:

“As the Refugee Council of Australia has said the repeal of Medevac puts lives at risk. It flies in the face of the medical evidence, with more than 5000 doctors and the AMA in support of medical treatment for those in offshore detention in need of this. Medevac came about as a result of the failure of the Morrison Government to protect the health and wellbeing of people seeking asylum in Australia. Tragically, twelve people died in offshore detention before Medevac was put in place.

“We join with our members, and all those at the frontline of ongoing support and advocacy in condemning the cruel repeal of the Medevac laws. We call on the Government to honour existing transfers approved under Medevac and to urgently establish a safe solution for permanent resettlement for the hundreds of people who have been detained offshore for years on end.

“We join many others in Australia to assure people detained offshore that the community sector will not rest until you are freed to live with dignity and have secured a permanent safe new home and future.”