Australia Live News Update: NSW bans venue singing and dancing and suspends elective surgery; Coalition defends visa decision Djokovic | Australia News
Some more details from that first Victorian press conference:
He Victorian government he says he has not seen any correspondence between the federal government and Tennis Australia stipulating Novak Djokovic he would not be allowed to enter the country if he did not meet Atagi’s criteria.
Since the tennis star landed in Australia on Wednesday night, the federal and Victorian governments have been playing handball for the incident, which has sparked a strong international uprising between Serbia and Australia.
On Friday morning, it emerged that the federal government had written twice to the head of Tennis Australia Craig Tiley in November, he said people who were not vaccinated would not have a travel exemption, even if they had had Covid in the past 6 months.
Djokovic is believed to have sought medical exemption for these reasons.
On Friday, the incumbent Prime Minister Jacinta Allan, he said the state government had not seen the correspondence, although the Victorian government and Tennis Australia granted him an exemption to play Australian Open. She said:
I was warned that members of the Victorian government had not seen this correspondence.
We don’t necessarily see it … but it reinforces this point that it is the Commonwealth government … who is responsible for issuing visas and how they enter into this dialogue with Tennis Australia is a matter for them.
The state government has previously said that Djokovic’s entry was a two-step process, the first of which was to obtain a Commonwealth government visa. The second was to be granted an exemption for gambling, which was decided by the medical court.
Allan downplayed the role of the Victorian government, saying the state medical panel should have access to medical records, not their visa eligibility.
“The function of the panel was to assess the medical documentation, not to assess its eligibility for a visa,” he said.
There are still urgent questions about whether the state government should have contacted federal or Atagi colleagues before granting the exception and why the visa was granted in the first place, only to be arrested on arrival.
The Minister of Health, Greg Hunt, said on Thursday at 2GB that he had been surprised to have given the exemption to Djokovic.
“I did not notice that he was going through the works. And then, obviously, I saw some media reports a couple of nights ago, “Hunt said.
Hunt sent the second letter to Tennis Australia in November, reiterating that Australian border force would not allow anyone who does not meet Atagi’s criteria to enter.
Victorian acting sports minister on Wednesday Jaala Pulford, said border forces contacted the state government hours before he landed, asking if they would sponsor Djokovic’s visa. He tweeted on Wednesday evening that the Victorian government had rejected the request.
The Minister of the Interior, Karen Andrews, and border forces have denied it, saying they did not seek the support of the Victorian government.
Djokovic is currently being held in a quarantine hotel and will fight deportation in court on Monday morning.
The debacle has infuriated both his fans, who feel he has been humiliated, and the Victorian public, who are angry that an unvaccinated tennis star received entry after two years of confinement.