A brutal sledge has been served up to the Morrison government over its handling of Novak Djokovic as the world waits for a decision.
The Morrison government has been roasted for how long it has taken to make a decision on Novak Djokovic’s visa.
The world has waited days for a decision from Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.
Mr Hawke has the power to deport the world no. 1 tennis player, despite a court ruling he could stay.
If the minister overturns the decision, Djokovic will be sent back to Serbia, denying him the chance to compete in the Australian Open.
He could also face a three-year ban from entering Australia.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said the Morrison government needed to act quickly to put the matter to rest, slipping in a brutal sledge.
“How long is the focus group taking in order for the government to get the answer before it responds to this issue?” he told reporters on Thursday.
“This debacle is quite frankly causing enormous international embarassment.”
A spokesman for Mr Hawke said he received “lengthy submissions and documentations” from the tennis player’s legal team on Wednesday, which delayed the visa decision.
Djokovic was granted a visa to enter Australia despite not being vaccinated on the basis that he had had a recent Covid-19 infection.
But, when he arrived at Melbourne Airport, he was told that he did not a valid exemption, and had his visa cancelled.
His lawyers immediately set out to appeal, with the case was heard on Monday.
A judge quashed the visa cancellation and freed Djokovic from detention.
Mr Hawke immediately indicated he was considering whether to use another mechanism to kick Djokovic out.
More questions have since been raised over Djokovic’s answers on his entry form, including allegations he lied about not travelling overseas prior to flying to Australia.
Pictures have emerged of him in both Serbia and Spain over the Christmas period.
In order to meet the requirement, he would have had to have been in Spain – his port of departure – for the entire two weeks before he flew to Australia.
Questions have also been raised about the accuracy of Djokovic’s positive test from December 16.
Djokovic was pictured out in public a day later, with his mother claiming her son “probably didn’t know” he had Covid.
Djokovic took to social media in an attempt to clear up confusion, saying he had made an “error of judgment” in not immediately isolating after being diagnosed with Covid-19.
He also blamed “human error” by his support team for the mistake on his travel document.
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