A mentally unwell refugee who has attempted suicide three times will be rushed from Nauru to Australia following urgent court action.
The girl will be flown to the mainland on Sunday afternoon with her father and brother, Minister Peter Dutton’s immigration department promised in a Federal Court hearing on Saturday.
It comes after legal firm Maurice Blackburn lodged an urgent application on the girl’s behalf on Friday night, asking for her to be transferred off the island in light of her health.
A mentally unwell refugee who has attempted suicide three times will be rushed from Nauru Detention Centre to Australia following urgent court action. Tent accommodation at Nauru is pictured.
The firm’s head of social justice Jennifer Kanis welcomed the decision but said it was ‘outrageous’ that it took court action to get the girl help.
‘We’re delighted that the government has this morning agreed to bring our client from Nauru to Australia so she can get the medical attention she so desperately needs,’ she said outside court.
In court, Mr Dutton’s legal counsel Ashlee Briffa said flights were being booked for the refugee family to travel to Australia on Sunday afternoon.
Minister Peter Dutton (pictured)’s immigration department promised the girl will be flown to Australia on Sunday afternoon
She said a doctor’s report on the girl’s health had only been received by the department on Friday.
‘We were made aware of the medical report less than 24 hours ago,’ Ms Briffa said.
‘There is a flight tomorrow. This has all happened very quickly.’
However Maurice Blackburn claimed the medical report was more than a week old and the department should have been aware of it.
Maurice Blackburn head of social justice Jennifer Kanis leaves the Federal Court in Melbourne. Her firm lodged an urgent application on the girl’s behalf on Friday night
‘We don’t know why the government are saying they haven’t been provided with that report,’ Ms Kanis said.
Comment has been sought from Mr Dutton.
Ms Kanis said the girl’s medical condition was ‘very severe’.
‘There is a very real risk she may attempt suicide again,’ she said.
Ms Kanis said it was the third time in recent months that court intervention had been sought to get children medical treatment.
‘These children deserve much better,’ she said.
The Federal Court ordered that the full medical history of the girl and her family be handed over to their lawyers.
The identity of the girl has been suppressed from publication to protect her.
The case will return to court on May 8.
Ashlee Briffa, legal counsel for Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, leaves the Federal Court in Melbourne on Saturday.