Labor Lashes Out At Gov Over Djokovic Delay

January 17, 2022 by

Australia’s Labor party is accusing the Morrison government of dragging out the Novak Djokovic visa affair unnecessarily – and in a deliberate effort to distract from its woes surrounding the rising numbers of infections and other social issues.

Independent senator Jacqui Lambie on Friday added her voice to the drama by accusing government and Immigration Minister Alex Hawke of a “shambles” in their approach to and handling of the issue of the Serbian’s visa. But government is clearly hesitant to pull the trigger because of the possibility of yet another court overthrow, which could see the saga dragged out into next week.

Djokovic’s visa, which was granted on November 18, was cancelled on the basis that a recent infection isn’t sufficient for a vaccination exemption according to Australia’s strict health and safety protocols. While PM Scott Morrison refused to comment on the case on Thursday, he once again made reference to authorities being expected to enforce vaccination requirements for all non-citizens of the country. This is being interpreted as a clear message of a new cancellation of Djokovic’s visa being imminent.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese on Thursday demanded that government explain how a visa could have been granted in the first place to someone clearly ineligible because of a failure to fully vaccinate. Djokovic’s visa had reportedly been granted after an exemption from vaccination had been approved by Tennis Australia’s chief medical officer as well as an independent Victorian government expert panel.

Albanese said the debacle should never have been allowed to drag out this long.

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