Subjects: Medevac, Parliamentary security hacks
DAVID KOCH: Now the Morrison Government is stepping up its attack on Labor's border protection credentials this morning. It's taking aim at laws backed by the ALP, the Greens and crossbenchers, which allow ill asylum seekers to be brought back to Australia for medical treatment. It claims there's a major loophole which will allow the asylum seekers to stay here once they're well. Attorney-General Christian Porter joins us now. Good morning to you.
ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Good morning.
DAVID KOCH: Why won't you be able to send them back to the offshore facilities?
ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Well, we've been conducting medical transfers under the Migration Act very efficiently and quietly with the full discretion of the Minister of many months and there are specific provisions in the Act that allow for the removal and return of the person once the treatment is finished. Unfortunately, Labor's rammed through laws gagging debate in the Parliament and the laws are so poorly drafted that there is no provision that we can see that allows for the return of the person once their medical assessment is finished. Now, this is just a classic legal drafting error and loophole but the effect of it is terrible for Australia and indeed terrible for the people…
DAVID KOCH: Okay.
ATTORNEY-GENERAL: …who come seeking medical assessment because they can't be returned.
DAVID KOCH: Just change the law then.
DAVID KOCH: If it's sloppy drafting, just make everyone aware of it and change it.
ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Well, we're working as hard as we can to make this terrible law work and of course, we want to fix it and that might have to be done at a later date retrospectively because we're about to have hundreds of people arrive on our facility on Christmas Island.
DAVID KOCH: Okay. The hundreds that you've already brought here for medical treatment as you say in the past, did all of those go back?
ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Many of those don't return at the moment because they're subject to Federal Court proceedings but what I can absolutely assure is that there is a known legal power and authority to compel the return. What we have discovered…
DAVID KOCH: Okay. So what? Ninety per cent was sent back, 95 per cent isn't?
ATTORNEY-GENERAL: No, the larger proportion is still here David subject to federal court proceedings. But there is a power and ability to affect their return…
DAVID KOCH: Okay.
ATTORNEY-GENERAL: …with this Labor law, there is no lawful authority, which means you'd be bringing people who are not presently in detention from Manus and Nauru for medical assessment in detention, which is the Labor requirement, with no ability to remove them.
DAVID KOCH: Alright. Just while we've got you, after the recent revelations about political parties and Parliament being hacked - these reports this morning of a Melbourne hospital that has come under a cyber-attack - 15,000 cardiology patients have been held to ransom possibly by foreign criminals. Is Australia doing enough to stop these cyber-criminals and particularly people who've signed up for the MyHealth thing are now probably thinking: jeez, is my data safe?
ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Well, I mean it's obviously not merely a problem for government as this incident has proven. And as a Government, we've spent a lot of money and time and effort trying to harden ourselves as target but governments as well as the private sector; so we've established cybersecurity centres around Australia which are a cooperative enterprise between the private sector, medical firms, mining companies. And of course, it's a huge problem going forward but as a government, we've had our mind and eye clearly on it and spend a lot of money to try and toughen ourselves as targets. But it's a responsibility of all enterprises whether they're banks or hospitals to do everything they can to protect data.
DAVID KOCH: Yeah. Attorney-General, thanks for joining us. Here's Sam.
ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Thank you, David.