Weekly media wrap - 6 May 2019

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the federal government’s plan to cap refugee intake numbers at the current rate of 18,750 a year for the next three years if the coalition is re-elected. Morrison detailed the particulars of the refugee intake program, which includes an increased offshore component target of 60 per cent for women, as well as an aim to resettle 40 per cent of arrivals in regional areas. 

Victorian children’s commissioner Liana Buchanan increased calls for the federal government to provide access to detention centres, following reports from advocates that at least five children under the age of seven are detained at the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation Centre facility. Priya, a Tamil mother currently detained at the centre with her family, accused the government of failing to give adequate medical care to her youngest daughter, Tharnicaa, who is almost 2 years old. 

The partner of Omid Masoumali, an Iranian refugee who died after setting himself on fire on Nauru in April 2016, is suing the Australian Government and International Heath and Medical Services (IHMS) for failing to provide adequate medical care for her husband.

The Nauruan government failed to approve the contract extension of Canstruct, the company responsible for managing the island’s processing centre, until hours before it was due to expire. The stand-off, which saw Canstruct and Wilson inform caseworkers and other stakeholders that they were ‘demobilising’, resulted in chaos and confusion for asylum seekers and refugees, who were told to clear out of the centre and warned that healthcare may cease. 

A new global survey found that 46 per cent of Australian respondents believed immigration should be reduced, while 23 per cent thought it should be increased. In a national poll, conducted by Essential Media, 51 per cent of respondents believed immigration was ‘generally positive’ for the country, while 35 per cent thought it was ‘generally negative’.