From THE AGE: Novak Djokovic faces a three year ban from Australia after Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used his personal power to cancel the Serbian tennis star’s visa, as his lawyers last night challenged the decision in court.
Djokovic’s lawyers claim Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke based his decision to cancel the Serbian star’s visa on the basis his presence in Australia would stoke antivax sentiment.
But Djokovic’s lawyer, Nicholas Wood, SC, said Mr Hawke had chosen to “remove a man of good standing” from Australia and “impair” his career over comments Djokovic had made in 2020.
In effect, what the government is saying that Djokovic’s reputation as high profile advocate and anti-vaxxer in Australia has the potential to incite demonstrably violent elements of the anti-vac protest movement in the Australia.
It is easy to see the logic of this argument. Whether the Federal court sees the logic as pertinent is another question.
Nonetheless, Scott Morrison has a lot riding on this decision. He was stuck between a rock and a hard place.
If he let the tennis superstar stay, he would be seen as weak and not standing by his “rules are rules” dictum.
Having decided to cancel the visa, he must now demonstrate that his government is least able to exert some level of control over what is clearly shambolic immigration policy.
With Djokovic’s visa being cancelled, shares in Beef’s Aussie Humble Pie Company have soared in anticipation of the tennis star’s appeal against his deportation being successful and a large amount of humble pie being required.