Immigration Minister: Novak Djokovic’s presence risk to civil order

The Australian authorities fear the presence of Novak Djokovic throughout the two weeks of the Australian Open may put lives and civil order at risk by increasing anti-vax sentiment, per The Age. 

On Friday, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke exercised his powers to cancel the visa of Djokovic. 

Djokovic hasn’t left the country yet but his chances of playing the Australian Open are slim. 

“Given Mr Djokovic’s high-profile status and position as a role model in the sporting and broader community, his ongoing presence in Australia may foster similar disregard for the precautionary requirements following receipt of a positive COVID-19 test in Australia,” Hawke wrote, as quoted on The Age. 

“In particular, his behaviour may encourage or influence others to emulate his prior conduct and fail to comply with appropriate health measures following a positive COVID-19 test, which itself could lead to the transmission of the disease and serious risk to their health and others.″⁣

Hawke announced his decision on Djokovic

“Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so,” Hawke said in a statement on Friday. 

“This decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on 10 January 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds.

“In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border For. and Mr Djokovic.

“The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I thank the officers of the Department of Horne Affairs and the Australian Border Force who work every day to serve Australia’s interests in increasingly challenging operational environments.”

Djokovic wasn’t detained immediately following the visa cancellation but he is set to be detained on Saturday morning. 

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