Real reason for cancelling Novak Djokovic emerges: Immigration Minister Alex Hawke says his presence in Australia may ‘foster anti-vaccination sentiment’.

Real reason for cancelling Novak Djokovic emerges: Immigration Minister Alex Hawke says his presence in Australia may ‘foster anti-vaccination sentiment’. By Eliza McPhee.

The key reasons behind Novak Djokovic’s visa cancellation have been revealed with Immigration Minister Alex Hawke saying his presence in Australia may ‘foster anti-vaccination sentiment’. …

Mr Hawke announced on Friday he had cancelled the Serbian tennis star’s visa for a second time, citing a long list of reasons including that Djokovic showed an ‘apparent disregard’ to isolate following a positive test result.

I consider that Mr Djokovic’s ongoing presence in Australia may lead to an increase in anti-vaccination sentiment generated in the Australian community, potentially leading to an increase in civil unrest of the kind previously experienced in Australia with rallies and protests which may themselves be a source of community transmission,’ Mr Hawke said as seen in court documents. …

He added that Djokovic’s stance on vaccinations may lead to others refusing to get jabbed, and reinforcing the beliefs of the unvaxxed.

Legal experts say it would be difficult — if not impossible — for Djokovic to successfully challenge a visa cancellation decision made personally by the Immigration Minister.

Liam Mendes on Novak’ response:

On Saturday Djokovic’s lawyers filed a 268 page affidavit highlighting how his legal team will fight to keep him in the country. …

“(Cancellation would) call into question Australia’s border security principles and policies — and indeed the rule of law in Australia generally,” documents say.

“Secondly, that action would prejudice Australian economic interests, and jeopardise the viability of Australia continuing to host this prestigious, international sporting event.

“Thirdly, that action would create the appearance of politically motivated decision-making.

“Cancelling Mr Djokovic’s visa and deporting him would plainly be adverse to the public interest, and respectfully, could only serve political interests. …

Rule of law? What’s that?

The documents also outline the tense moment Djokovic’s visa was initially cancelled by the Australian Border Force.

“I am really failing to understand what else do you want me to provide to you,” he said at the time of cancellation.

“So you’re giving me legally 20 minutes to try to provide additional information that I don’t have? At 4 o’clock in the morning?” he said.

“I mean you kind of put me in a very awkward position where at 4 in the morning I can’t call (the) director of Tennis Australia, I can’t engage with anyone from the Victorian state government through Tennis Australia. You put me in a very uncomfortable position. I don’t know what else I can tell you. Everything that I was asked to do is here,” the transcript says.

To that, the interviewer simply replied: “yeah”.

Novak Djokovic was legally granted a valid visa to come and play. It is now clear it was cancelled (twice!) for political reasons, the second time using the backup catch-all of the personal discretion of the immigration minister.

The rule of law — same rule for all — has been thrown away. This would never have happened if Novak was vaxxed and the Australian bureaucracy wasn’t so dogmatic that everyone be vaxxed. If they didn’t want him to come, they should have thought of that before issuing him a visa.

“Rules are rules”? What silly rhetoric. What about the rule that visa holders may enter the country? Why should the rule that “non-vaxxed people may not enter the country” take precedence over that rule? It was a political decision to enforce one rule and ignore another. Only some rules are being upheld.

Notice that no one is even pretending that Novak is a health risk because he might give them covid — only that he might give them the idea not to take the vax.

Our bureaucratic class is throwing its incompetent weight around. The world will not be impressed.