Lisa Wilkinson says timing of Novak Djokovic’s visa cancellation was ‘political decision’

The project aired minutes after the decision to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa, and Lisa Wilkinson quickly came up with a theory on the timing.

Channel 10 host Lisa Wilkinson asked why the federal government waited until late Friday afternoon to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa for the second time.

The initial decision to cancel the visa of the unvaccinated Serbian tennis star was overturned by the Federal Circuit Court on Monday, but Immigration Minister Alex Hawke still had the final say on whether the world number 1 would be allowed to stay in the country.

It wasn’t until 5:52 p.m. on Friday that Mr Hawke finally made a decision, invoking his discretion and immediately seeking to expel the tennis star.

Wilkinson gets straight to the point on The project moments after the decision during an interview with Australian tennis legend Rennae Stubbs.

“Friday night at 6 p.m. dropping a story is a classic political decision if you want to kill a story, but I don’t think it will be killed. How do you think Novak will feel now? Wilkinson asked.

“I think it’s sad, probably a little angry. A little puzzled. Uncertain. You name it. I’m not in his head, but I suspect I have a feeling he will try to fight this at some point, ”Stubbs replied.

Wilkinson also touched on the timing in a previous interview with Adul Rizvi, the former deputy secretary of the Immigration Department.

“They made that announcement at 6 pm on a Friday night, which as we all know is a classic political decision if you want to kill a story over the weekend. How much of this decision do you think was political? She asked him.

“Look, once the government was in this very difficult situation, it found itself in a difficult situation changing the policy on how it dealt with medical exceptions,” he replied.

“I think he felt he should continue with the cards he had played.”

Wilkinson’s theory of when the announcement was made struck a chord online.

“Talk about leaving it late on a Friday to try to bury the fallout,” media reporter Sophie Elsworth tweeted.

“Really poor shape. This is typical “Friday news dump” behavior. It is not the action of a government of conviction and clear objective, ”wrote another on Twitter.

Others have suggested the delayed decision was a deliberate move to make it difficult for the 20-time Grand Slam winner to appeal and make his case heard in time for the Australian Open’s first round on Monday.

“He (Mr. Hawke) waited four days to delay any appeal impacting the Australian Open,” one man wrote.

“This is a blatant abuse of power for someone who has supported Australia.”

“How to prevent Novak Djokovic from winning a 21st Slam? Answer: sneakily cancel her visa two days before the slam and don’t give her time to appeal, ”suggested another.

Djokovic would be banned from being granted another visa for three years if he fails to appeal the decision – but that can be overturned.

The Herald Sun Ashley Argoon said sources close to Djokovic’s camp were informed of the cancellation of his visa at 6:03 p.m. – almost 10 minutes after the media alert.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison shared a statement Friday night after the announcement.

“I take note of the decision of the Minister of Immigration regarding the visa of Mr. Novak Djokovic,” he said.

“I understand that after careful consideration, the Minister took steps to cancel the visa of Mr. Djokovic detained for health and good order reasons, on the grounds that it was in the public interest to do so.

“This pandemic has been incredibly difficult for every Australian, but we have stood together and saved lives and livelihoods.

“Together, we have achieved one of the lowest death rates, strongest economies and highest vaccination rates in the world.

“Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the outcome of those sacrifices to be protected.

“That’s what the minister is doing by taking this step today.

“Our strong border protection policies have kept Australians safe, before Covid and now during the pandemic.

“Due to pending pending legal proceedings, I will not make any further comment.”

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