Morrison government dragging out Djokovic visa saga ‘as a distraction’, Labor says | Novak Djokovic

Labor has accused the Morrison government of dragging out the Novak Djokovic visa saga to distract from its Omicron woes, as uncertainty over the tennis star’s potential to play the Australian Open enters its second week.

With no determination but introduced by immigration minister Alex Hawke, the impartial senator Jacqui Lambie additionally accused the government on Friday of an “absolute shambles” in its dealing with of the Djokovic visa challenge.

Djokovic’s attorneys are ready to problem a visa cancellation, which has made the Australian government hesitant to drag the set off till it’s sure it gained’t be reversed by a courtroom.

A prolonged authorized battle may drag the saga into the subsequent week, when the lads’s tennis world No 1 is because of start his Australian Open title defence.


Djokovic arrived in Australia on the night of 5 January. He believed that a visa granted on 18 November and an exemption permitted by Tennis Australia’s chief medical officer and a Victorian government impartial knowledgeable panel can be adequate to enter Australia.

Djokovic’s visa was cancelled on the idea that a latest Covid an infection by itself was not adequate for an exemption from Australia’s strict vaccination necessities.

Though the visa was restored by the federal circuit courtroom on Monday, Hawke started to contemplate cancelling it once more beneath a separate private energy.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, on Thursday refused to remark straight on the case however confirmed he anticipated authorities to implement the requirement that non-citizen non-residents be vaccinated, in a sign interpreted as that means a contemporary cancellation was imminent.

On Friday Lambie questioned why the saga “retains dripping out of the faucet” and why the minister “hasn’t completed something about this”.

“So perhaps it’s about time to cease this debacle, end it as soon as and for all … and make up your thoughts, Alex Hawke. The place are you, lacking in motion? Make a determination,” she instructed Channel 9’s Right now.

Jacqui Lambie says the Novak Djokovic visa situation is ‘an absolute shambles’.
Jacqui Lambie says the Novak Djokovic visa state of affairs is ‘an absolute shambles’. {Photograph}: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Lambie stated if the government couldn’t make a determination about Djokovic she questioned how they may run the nation.

“That is an absolute shambles. Not to mention what it’s making us seem like within the face of the remainder of the world. It’s completely a shocker.”

At a press convention in Maryborough in Queensland, Labor’s shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers accused the government of “utilizing this Novak Djokovic saga as a distraction from the shortages in our supermarkets, the shortages in our chemists, the shortages of staff”.

The Labor chief, Anthony Albanese, stated it ought to “by no means have come to this” as a result of Djokovic mustn’t have been granted a visa if not eligible for an exemption.

“Novak Djokovic and his participation within the Australian Open has been the primary sports activities story on this planet for months.

“Everybody is aware of he’s the primary participant on this planet. He’s gained the Australian Open 9 occasions, capturing for 10, capturing for his twenty first grand slam to be the best champion of all time.”


Albanese famous it had been 60 days for the reason that visa was granted and stated the government had “by no means answered the query of how is it that that visa was granted within the first place if he wasn’t eligible as a result of he wasn’t totally vaccinated”.

On Thursday Morrison defined that having a visa is totally different to satisfying the necessities for entry to Australia, warning these shouldn’t be “conflated”.

Morrison stated non-citizen non-resident arrivals would wish to indicate they have been double vaccinated or “acceptable proof that they will’t be vaccinated for medical causes”.

The primary counsellor on the Serbian embassy, Ivana Isidorovic, revealed on Friday that Djokovic has a diplomatic passport, telling the Herald Sun it ought to guarantee “enough remedy” of the 34-year-old tennis star.

“Djokovic, as our most recognisable consultant on this planet, is the holder of a diplomatic passport, which ought to, in diplomatic concept and consular apply, assure him enough remedy when crossing borders,” she reportedly stated.

Nevertheless, Djokovic’s passport is unlikely to have any bearing on the vaccination requirement or visa cancellation, and was not a function of his federal circuit courtroom case.

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