Asha, a 12 month-old asylum seeker, was released into community detention after doctors at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital refused to discharge her until a ‘suitable home environment’ was identified’. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said that once Asha and her family’s claims are finalised, they will be sent back to Nauru, their home country, or a third country.
At an Australian Medical Association forum in Sydney doctors proposed to boycott working in Australia’s immigration detention system and to defy legal restrictions on speaking about conditions.
Malcolm Turnbull met with New Zealand prime minister John Key but did not commit to reviving a deal negotiated by former prime minister Julia Gillard for New Zealand to accept 150 asylum seekers annually from Australian detention.
Peter Dutton defended Australia’s rate of resettlement of Syrian refugees, emphasising that national security is the ‘first and foremost’ priority and that faster processing would increase risk to the public. Twenty-six Syrians have been processed in Australia, five months after the government announced a special intake of 12,000. Canada has resettled over 20,000 refugees in the same period.