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As vote nears, Parliament urged to seize the day on medical transfer

Save the Children is urging members of the Australian Parliament to work together to deliver an outcome for sick refugees and asylum seekers today
12 February 2019

Save the Children Director of Policy and International Programs Mat Tinkler called on the Parliament to seize the groundswell of community support behind the Kids off Nauru campaign and make a change.

“We commend efforts thus far to force government action on this critical humanitarian issue,” Mr Tinkler said.

“We urge members of Parliament to work together to ensure we get an outcome today. If there are any weaknesses in the bill identified by Australian authorities, then we call on the Parliament to address them as a matter of urgency.”

“It is important we call out the dangerous rhetoric being used to distract the people from what is important here: ensuring children in Australia’s care get the medical attention they need, when they need it,” Mr Tinkler said.

Save the Children supports legislation which provides for an independent review by a panel of doctors appointed by Australia’s most respected medical institutions.

The Urgent Medical Treatment Bill (formally the Home Affairs Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2018) is scheduled to be voted on by the House of Representatives this week. The Bill has already passed the Senate – with majority support in the House of Representatives in December 2018 – but was prevented from going to a vote by the Government.

More than 100 civil society groups including Save the Children Australia have signed onto a joint statement calling on the ALP, the Greens, Centre Alliance and the crossbench, including Andrew Wilkie, Kerryn Phelps, Cathy McGowan and Julia Banks, to maintain their support for the Bill to ensure it passes the House of Representatives when it goes to a vote, and enacted into law.

The statement will be delivered to politicians today ahead of the vote, to show widespread support for the Bill in the community.

For interviews, call Jess Brennan on 0431 334 918

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