Wed, Oct 24, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Australia settles 11 detained youth

Reuters, SYDNEY

Australia on Monday evacuated 11 migrant children from a Pacific detention center for medical treatment in the country, one of the largest groups to be transferred since offshore detentions began in 2013.

The 11 children were resettled from the Pacific island of Nauru and all would likely remain in Australia, Australian Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs Michael Pezzullo said at a hearing.

More than 50 children and 600 adults remain at the detention center on Nauru.

Australia had steadfastly refused to allow any refugees arriving by boat to enter the country, but two independent lawmakers on Monday said that their support for Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s shaky government was tied to the fate of the child detainees on Nauru.

Morrison is poised to lose his one-seat parliamentary majority after voters in Sydney’s Wentworth by-election on Saturday shunned the ruling Liberal Party amid anger at the ousting of former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Although counting continues, Morrison is likely to have to rely on the support of five independents to prevent a no-confidence motion that could trigger an election. The next poll is due by May next year.

Kerryn Phelps, who is on course to win in Wentworth, said that Morrison should immediately relocate child refugees from Nauru.

“The first order of business is to get kids off Nauru,” Phelps told Sky News Australia, echoing a similar demand from another independent lawmaker, Cathy McGowan.

“Ideally, I’d like the government to go full term, but we, the crossbenchers, will have those discussions today,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

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