Scott Morrison has spoken with Serbia’s PM about the Novak Djokovic saga. Here’s what they discussed

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But Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has said he is still considering whether to use his discretionary powers to revoke the Serbian national’s visa.   

Djokovic’s treatment has prompted diplomatic anger from Serbia with its president Aleksandar Vučić previously accusing Australian authorities of “harassment”.

In their call on Tuesday morning, Ms Brnabić asked Mr Morrison to be in direct contact with her over the situation and for relevant information to be exchanged between the two governments.

A read out of the call provided by Mr Morrison’s office described the discussion as “constructive” and said the leaders agreed to stay in contact on the issue.

It said Mr Morrison had explained Australia’s border policies were “non-discriminatory” and aimed at protecting against the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Ms Brnabić also emphasised the need for Djokovic to be given appropriate conditions for training ahead of the Australian Open, which begins this weekend.

It’s understood Ms Brnabić requested the call with Mr Morrison. 

Djokovic saga makes Australia look like ‘joke’ on world stage

As fallout over the visa controversy continues, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese would not be drawn on what decision should be made over Djokovic’s future. 

“The fact is that this has been botched completely by the Australian government,” he told reporters.

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Federal Liberal MP and former professional tennis player John Alexander has urged the government to let Djokovic stay and compete.

He said the judge presiding over Novak Djokovic’s appeal was “abundantly clear” in his ruling.

“The judge has looked at this obviously very, very carefully and he has made a very strong decision,” he told the ABC.

The MP, who will retire at the next federal election, said Djokovic posed no “threat to Australian society” and there was “no reason” for his visa to be cancelled.

Liberal Member for Bennelong John Alexander addresses the media in Sydney.Liberal Member for Bennelong John Alexander addresses the media in Sydney.

Source: AAP

The decision to allow Djokovic to contest the Australian Open has also won support from the peak men’s tennis body.

“The series of events leading to Monday’s court hearing have been damaging on all fronts, including for Novak’s well-being and preparation for the Australian Open,” the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) said.

The ATP also called for greater clarity over the rules. 

Fronting the media, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the Australian Open was bigger than one player and he would not lobby Mr Hawke to act either way. 

Daniel Andrews weighs in on Djokovic saga

Djokovic treatment places spotlight on border policies

The court ruling on Djokovic’s case has also prompted fierce reaction from refugee advocates.

Refugee Council of Australia CEO Paul Power said his detention and subsequent speedy appeal process contrasts starkly with the ongoing and prolonged inhumane treatment of refugees in Australia’s migration system.

“It is disappointing that it has taken the detention of a tennis player to highlight Australia’s ongoing practice of mandatory detention on the world stage,” he said in a statement. 

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UN Special Rapporteur Migration Felipe González on Monday evening also tweeted that the standards applied to Djokovic should be the same for all.

“Australia, whose migration policies have been repeatedly denounced to be in serious violation of human rights, should ensure that the standards applied in the case … are applied to everyone,” he said.

Greens immigration spokesperson Senator Nick McKim also said the Djokovic’s treatment had shown the world the “arbitrary cruelty” of Australia’s migration system.

“The Djokovic case has exposed massive government incompetence and the entirely opportunistic nature of border politics in Australia,” he said in a statement.

With AAP

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