Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 09:12
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The Coalition's Border Protection Policy

The Government of Nauru manages and administers regional processing arrangements on Nauru in accordance with its laws; this includes the safety and security of all residents within the Regional Processing Centre (RPC) and all people within the Nauruan community.

A range of care, welfare and support arrangements are in place to provide for the needs of children and young people.  Service providers are contracted to provide age-appropriate health, education, recreational, wellbeing and cultural services and activities.

All residents at the Nauru RPC receive clinically indicated health care, broadly consistent with Australian public health standards, both in the RPC and at the Nauru Settlement Health Clinic.  Medical services are delivered through health clinics, available seven days a week and staffed by a team of multi-disciplinary health practitioners that include General Practitioner, nursing and counselling specialists.  The Settlement Health Clinic provides health care to refugees in the community.  Residents at the RPC and refugees in the community are also able to access health services at the Republic of Nauru Hospital.

In addition to the significant investment in health services in Nauru, the Commonwealth of Australia has recently established a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), facilitated through the health service provider in Nauru, International Health and Medical Services (IHMS).  CAMHS was established in Nauru to provide child mental health services using an outpatient/outreach model.

From time to time, transferees residing in Nauru require medical treatment not available in Nauru.  Where the required health care service is unavailable through the Nauru public health system, IHMS will arrange for a medical specialist to travel to Nauru to deliver the service.  In exceptional circumstances and based on clinical need, arrangements may be made to provide medical treatment in a third country.

The Department of Immigration considers all requests for transfer to Australia on a case-by-case basis, under guidance of the Medical Officers of the Commonwealth.  The clinical needs of the patient are the overriding consideration of the Department of Immigration, which considers all requests for medical transfers. 

Refugees and transferees in Nauru are not subject to detention and are free to move about the community while they await United States resettlement processing, consider other settlement options or voluntarily return home.  All refugee and transferee families are now living in accommodation in the Nauruan community.

Refugees in Nauru can reside in the community on a 20 year visa, return home or settle in a third country.  Refugees living within the Nauruan community receive income support to purchase food and basic necessities.  Income support payment rates are determined by the Government of Nauru in consultation with the Department of Immigration and is sufficient for the cost of living.

The Government’s Operation Sovereign Borders policies are designed to safeguard vulnerable people from exploitation by people smugglers, prevent the loss of life at sea and restore the integrity of Australia’s borders.

The alternative, which we saw during the six years of the previous Labor Government, was the arrival of 50,000 on more than 800 boats. 1,200 people drowned at sea and 8,000 children were placed into detention.

Our Liberal National Government has worked hard to restore border security, to end the terrible people smuggling trade which saw so many deaths, and to resolve the position of people left on Nauru and Manus Island by the previous Labor Government.

We have got all of the children out of detention and have been quietly working to get the people off Manus and Nauru that Labor put there. The ongoing success of these strong border control policies has enabled the closure of 17 domestic immigration detention facilities.

Transfers to the United States under the resettlement agreement continue. Further transfers are expected in the coming months and, to date, 439 people have been resettled by this government from Manus and Nauru to the United States.

Restoration of Australia’s border integrity has enabled the Government to increase the annual refugee intake.  As a result, the Humanitarian Programme has increased from 13,750 in 2016‑17 to 16,250 in 2017‑18 and will reach 18,750 in 2018‑19. 

Focusing on persecuted minorities, Australia has also welcomed 12,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict zone on top of this.  The 2017-18 Humanitarian Programme represented Australia’s largest offshore humanitarian intake for more than 30 years.

This could not have been done unless the borders are secure and there was public confidence in their integrity.