Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

A Bill for an Act to amend the Migration Act 1958, and for related purposes
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Registered 03 Dec 2018
Introduced HR 03 Dec 2018

2016-2017-2018

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Migration Amendment (Urgent Medical Treatment) Bill 2018

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

and

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circulated by authority of

Dr Kerryn Phelps MP

 

 

 

Migration Amendment (Urgent Medical Treatment) Bill 2018

 

OUTLINE

 

This bill seeks to amend the Migration Act 1958 to require the temporary transfer to Australia of transitory persons on Manus Island or Nauru, and their families, if they are assessed by two or more treating doctors as requiring medical treatment. It also requires the temporary transfer of all children and their families from offshore detention to Australia for the purpose of medical or psychiatric assessment.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The bill will have no financial impact.

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1: Short title

 

1.      This clause is a formal provision and specifies the short title of the Act as the Migration Amendment (Urgent Medical Treatment) Act 2018.

 

Clause 2: Commencement

 

2.      This clause provides for the commencement of the Act on the day after it receives Royal Assent.

 

Clause 3: Schedules

 

3.      This clause establishes that, as the intent of the bill is to be realised through amendments to another Act, the schedules of this bill will amend that Act accordingly.

 

Schedule 1:  Amendments

 

Migration Act 1958

 

Item 1: Paragraph 42(2A)(ca)

 

1.      Item 1 inserts a reference to new section 198C into section 42 of the Migration Act 1958 (relating to visa requirements for travel).

 

Item 2: At the end of section 198B

 

2.      Item 2 inserts subsection (4) into section 198B of the Act, which specifies that a “temporary purpose” as referred to in sections 198B and 198C of the Act may, without limiting generality of section 198B(1), include medical or psychiatric assessment or treatment, and accompanying another transitory person in respect of whom the power in subsection (1) or section 198C has or will be exercised.

 

Item 3: After section 198B

 

3.      Item 3 inserts a section 198C into the Act, which specifies when legacy minors, relevant transitory persons and accompanying persons (including family members) must be brought to Australia for a temporary purpose.

4.      Subsection 198C(1) specifies that an officer must bring a transitory person to Australia for medical or psychiatric assessment or treatment if the officer knows or reasonably suspects the person is a legacy minor. “Legacy minor” is defined in subsection 198C(8).

5.      Subsection 198C(2) specifies that if the Secretary is notified that a transitory person has been assessed as a relevant transitory person by two or more treating doctors, they must cause an officer to bring the person to Australia for medical or psychiatric assessment or treatment. “Relevant transitory person” and “treating doctor” are defined in subsection 198C(8).

6.      Subsection 198C(3) requires a person who is a member of the same family unit as a person who is being brought to Australia for a temporary purpose to also be brought to Australia with the transferee.

7.      Subsection 198C(4) requires a person who has been recommended by a treating doctor to accompany a person who is being brought to Australia for these temporary purposes to also be brought to Australia with the transferee.

8.      Subsection 198C(5) requires a transitory person, who an officer knows or should reasonably suspect is a member of the same family unit as a minor who is in Australia, to be brought to Australia.

9.      Subsection 198C(6) specifies that nothing in this section shall affect the operation of section 198B.

10.  Subsection 198C(7) specifies that an officer must not bring a legacy minor or an accompanying person to Australia if they do not consent.

11.  Subsection 198C(8) defines a number of terms used in this section.

12.  “Legacy minor” is defined as a transitory person who, on the day this subsection commences, was in a regional processing country, had not previously been the subject of the exercise of a power under subsection (1), and was under 18.

13.  “Relevant transitory person” is defined as a transitory person who is assessed by a treating doctor as requiring medical or psychiatric assessment or treatment and is not receiving appropriate medical or psychiatric assessment or treatment in the regional processing country.

14.  “Treating doctor” is defined as a medical practitioner registered or licensed to provide medical or psychiatric services in either a regional processing country or Australia, who has assessed the transitory person either remotely or in person.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

Migration Amendment (Urgent Medical Treatment) Bill 2018

 

This bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

 

Overview of the bill

 

This bill seeks to amend the Migration Act 1958 to require the temporary transfer of transitory persons on Manus Island or Nauru, and their families, to Australia if they are assessed by two or more treating doctors as requiring medical treatment. It also requires the temporary transfer of children and their families from offshore detention to Australia for the purpose of medical or psychiatric assessment.

 

Human rights implications

 

This bill strengthens human rights and is necessary to ensure that Australia is compliant with international law. It engages positively with the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (including, but not limited to Article 5 – freedom from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and Article 14 – the right to seek asylum), and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (including, but not limited to Article 9 – stating that children should not be separated from their parents unless it is in their interests).

 

Conclusion

 

This bill is compatible with human rights because it strengthens human rights.

 

 

 

 

Dr Kerryn Phelps MP