25 C
Byron Shire
October 24, 2021

Medics, teachers against draconian Border Force Act

Latest News

COVID update: two new cases in Lismore and fragments in Byron’s STP

The Northern NSW Local Health District, Lynne Weir, today say that two new cases of COVID-19 have been reported for the District to 8pm, 23 October.

Other News

The Great Reopening

S Haslam What a time to go out in Byron – easy to park and, for the shy retiring types...

NSW Education responds to Teachers Federation over Murwillumbah Education Campus staff cuts

The NSW Education Department has responded to the NSW Teachers Federation's accusation that Education Minister Sarah Mitchell has only just revealed the extent of staff cuts at the mega school.

Chainsaw accident Ewingsdale

A 44-year-old arborist suffered a serious lower leg injury following a chainsaw accident at a Ewingsdale property yesterday.

One new COVID case in Lismore and Local Health District venues of concerns

Northern NSW Local Health District says there has been one new case of COVID-19 reported for the are to 8pm 17 October.

Northern NSW urged to stay vigilant ahead of severe weather

With the prediction for off-shore winds and an off-shore low in the north of the State this week, the Bureau of Meteorology has advised that storms may be on the way over the next few days.

The Rebels and the Wraiths visit Nationals: ‘We are facing a planetary crisis’

As part of a fortnight of climate actions and protests with the Extinction Rebellion, over 30 activists visited MP Kevin Hogan’s office in Lismore yesterday pushing ghostly empty white prams.

Last Saturday morning, doctors, nurses, health care workers and teachers from the northern rivers gathered at Belongil Beach and joined their voices in the protest against the Border Force Act, in support of health professionals working in detention centres, and to support and advocate for those seeking asylum.

The Australian Border Force Act came into effect on 1 July 2015, and threatens to prosecute those who speak out against abuse and mistreatment of asylum seekers with up to two years in jail.

Dr Rachel Heap, Intensive Care Specialist from Lismore Base Hospital, said the Border Force Act makes it an offence for an entrusted person to make a record of, or disclose, protected information, which includes anything involving asylum seekers in either on-shore or off-shore detention centres run by the Australian government.

Dr Heap said this means that while health professionals and teachers have a mandatory legal, ethical, and professional obligation to report abuse or mistreatment of those in their care, this Act stipulates that if those being abused are in Australian detention, the same action of reporting suspected abuse could result in prosecution and punishment of up to two years in jail of the reporter.

Article 14 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that ‘Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution’.

Professional bodies, including Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists have demanded amendment of the Act to protect professionals caring for those seeking asylum, and to enable them to advocate and act in the best interests of their patients.

Dr Rachel Heap, specialist in intensive care medicine, Lismore Base Hospital

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. I am doing some research on this issue for an assignment. How have the legal mechanisms responded so far? Have any politicians expressed any concerns regarding this? Has anyone been charged with the new offences?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Mutual obligation or mandatory vax?

There is much being said about the pros and cons of the vaccination. Do we? Don’t we? Must we? Must we not? But the answers...

Christian fundamentals

Robin Harrison’s letter (13 October) made me realise how Christian fundamentals are little known, yet so freely referred to. There are at least three...

A dumb act of STP

Council is stating that breaches of licence conditions, in part, justifies spending $10m on transferring raw sewage from Ocean Shores Sewerage Treatment Plant (OS...

COVID-19 update: 5 new cases in the NNSWLHD

Northern NSW Local Health District, Acting Chief Executive, Lynne Weir, says there were five new cases of COVID-19 reported for the District to 8pm last night, 21 October.