Medevac repealed after government comes to secret arrangement with Jacqui Lambie

Greens Senator Nick Mc Kim and Senator Jacqui Lambie

What's got the entire political bubble in uproar, though, is that it would appear Lambie and the Coalition struck some sort of deal that neither party are divulging, done in exchange for Lambie's vote on the issue.

It claimed the law had "exposed Australians to unacceptable risk" and weakened national security.

"I'm not being coy or silly when I say I genuinely can't say what I proposed", she told the Senate.

Crossbench Senator Jacqui Lambie (right) speaks with the Leader of the Government in the Senate Mathias Cormann.

The government has long hoped to overturn legislation allowing the medical evacuation of refugees and asylum seekers from Manus Island or Nauru to Australia for health treatment, which was passed late past year.

"There is no secret deal".

The only thing that needs "repair" is Australia's human rights reputation, former MP Kerryn Phelps said, as the government seeks to repeal the contentious refugee medical evacuation laws.

"We know that these people have self-inflicted... like palm oil into their bloody penises, for crying out loud".

He said the medevac law was a "bad policy" that deserved to be voted out. There will be no change to our strong border protection arrangements. "The situation of their indefinite and prolonged confinement, exacerbated by the lack of appropriate medical care amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment according to global standards", said United Nations human rights experts.

"Someone's lying here. Either Senator Lambie is lying or the government is lying".

Labor home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally said the government had clinched a deal with Senator Lambie.

Repeatedly asked if any assurance involving New Zealand was given to Senator Lambie, the prime minister refused to provide a direct response.

Morrison told parliament that Lambie had not made any reference to a deal in her remarks to parliament, and denied there had been any special agreement.

"Someone is misleading the Senate about one of the most important pieces of legislation that has been before this Parliament".

Since 2013, the nation has despatched asylum seekers arriving by boat to detention centres on Nauru and Papua New Guinea (PNG).

There are more than 200 refugees and asylum seekers left on PNG and more than 250 remaining on Nauru.

"What has underpinned the government's arguments about repeal has been a campaign of fear, of misinformation, of exaggeration about a process that in fact has worked extremely well to ensure that doctors not politicians make recommendations about the health needs of people held offshore".

The Morrison government argues existing medical transfer provisions were adequate before the medevac laws were put in place and will not result in poorer treatment outcomes.

An exception is a refusal by the Home Affairs Minister on character or national security grounds. If the concerns were medical, the case was referred to the Independent Health Advisory Panel (IHAP) for review.

With additional reporting from wires.



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