Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Australia to reopen controversial Christmas Island detention centre after historic government defeat

Australia to reopen controversial Christmas Island detention centre after historic government defeat

It is the first time in decades that an Australian government has lost a vote on a substantive piece of legislation, sparking applause and cheers from observers in the parliamentary viewing gallery in Canberra.

Speaking before the vote, Morrison said that the changes would encourage people-smugglers and provoke a new flow of arrivals. The policy banishes asylum seekers who attempt to reach Australia by boat to the Pacific island camps in a bid to deter other asylum seekers from making the perilous voyage.

In a surprise legal twist just hours before the vote, the government cited legal advice from the Solicitor-General to argue the bill would incur additional expenses by creating a panel of medical experts to rule on refugee transfers.

But the 75-74 vote - which came on the first sitting day of Parliament this year - in favour of the refugee Bill opposed by the government is a blow to the already embattled Prime Minister and raised questions about whether he can remain in office.

Legislation has only been passed in the House against a government's will in 1929, 1941, 1962 and 2013.

The Prime Minister pledged to reverse the laws if the Coalition is re-elected at the poll expected in mid-May.

The leader of the Opposition in the Senate Senator Penny Wong, left, speaks to Senator Derryn Hinch after the passing of the Medivac bill.

He also said police, the military and Australian Border Force have been working on "contingency plans" in the event laws related to asylum seekers in offshore detention are changed.

Josh Navidi calls on Wales to maintain momentum ahead of England clash
Farrell kicked for a whopping 589.3 metres on the day, almost double the next most by a player on either team. England Women next travel to face Wales Women in a fortnight's time, while France Women host Scotland .

Uighur musician Abdurehim Heyit is alive, says China's state-run television
She told a daily briefing that the Turkish side had "made a very bad mistake which is quite irresponsible", the AP reported. While Turkey and China broadly have good relations, Aksoy said he was responding to the death of Heyit in a Chinese jail.

Reasons Why Apex Legends Might Be The New Fortnite
There are rumours that ranked play could be coming to Apex Legends while the season 1 Battle Pass launch is just around the corner.

The prime minister based his decision on the assessment of the country's security agencies, which had warned in December that like the one approved on Wednesday would result in an increase in asylum seekers heading to Australia.

The government had struck a deal in 2016 for the United States to accept up to 1,250 refugees languishing on Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

"I believe we can keep our borders secure, we can uphold national security, but still treat people humanely", he said.

Medical evacuations have become a loophole in Australia's policy of exiling asylum seekers who arrive by boat.

Sick asylum seekers often have to fight the Australian government in court for permission to be transferred to an Australian hospital.

Scott Morrison remains defiant after the medical refugee transfers bill was passed today, warning the new laws will weaken Australia's borders.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn welcomed the law change. "In the previous year alone, we have had to take court action repeatedly to help secure the medical evacuation of 26 ill people on Nauru, many of these children".

"Where we will always stand, and the Australian people can always trust us to do, is to have the mettle to ensure the integrity of our border protection framework".

Like this: