Weekly media wrap - 26 May 2019

Following its re-election last Saturday, the Coalition government has prioritised a repeal of the medical evacuation laws passed in February 2019. The Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed there is budget available to keep the Christmas Island centre open, should the Senate block the repeal bill. 

Since the outcome of the election on Saturday, Manus Island- and Nauru-based refugees and advocates have voiced their concern about the re-elected Morrison government. They, and doctors on the islands, reported a surge in apparent suicide attempts and self-harm on both islands since the election, although there have been varied reports on the number of cases. 

The Guardian reported that more than 40 people have been transferred to Australia for urgent medical treatment from Manus Island and Nauru since the passing of the medical evacuation laws earlier this year. The Medical Evacuation Response Group (Merg), which is triaging the asylum seekers and refugees seeking medical care, said they were receiving an average of 11 applications a day. 

Families in a Syrian refugee camp wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison urgently seeking evacuation. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the letter urges the Morrison government to evacuate at least 30 Australian children detained in this refugee camp for Islamic State families. The families are seeking urgent help as a result of dangerous and squalid conditions, significant injuries, illnesses and malnourishment. The letter was sent to the Prime Minister via Save The Children.