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Scott Morrison reopens Christmas Island asylum seeker detention centre
13 February 2019, 03:25 | Randall Craig
Anthony Albanese says there may need to"tweak the bill on medical transfers for asylum seekers. AAP
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said a security committee of his cabinet agreed to reopen the camp on Wednesday on the advice of senior security officials.
The fast-tracked medical transfers will only apply to the existing cohort of refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru.
The Australian government will be reopening the Christmas Island detention center, likened to a maximum security prison, after the opposition streamlined a bill to allow migrant detainees to seek medical help on the mainland.
"My job now is to ensure that the boats don't come", he told reporters at Parliament House.
He also pledged to reverse the legislation if he won the next election and had a majority. He has ruled out calling a snap election on the refugee issue.
Australia's government suffered an embarrassing defeat in parliament on Tuesday as the lower house voted to allow asylum seekers held offshore to receive medical care in Australia, the first such loss for a government in 78 years. Another lawmaker has since quit the government as part of the bitter fallout over the leadership change.
The bill was first mooted by independent MP Kerryn Phelps past year after she won the Liberal Party stronghold of Wentworth when former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull was ousted in a party coup.
"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".
In the wake of the parliamentary setback, Morrison refused calls to step down or call an early election, insisting that Australians would have time to make their choice in May.
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.
Labor leader Bill Shorten says his party is tough but fair on border control after it backed the bill.
Medical evacuations have become a loophole in Australia's policy of exiling asylum seekers who arrive by boat.
This change is meant to protect refugees who need medical help but might have been convicted of minor offences or perhaps crimes of freedom of expression in their home countries.
Major changes to Australia's health system would be led by a new, independent expert commission under a federal Labor government, making reforms harder to unpick.
Law firm Maurice Blackburn welcomed the law change. "In the past 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".
"We need to stop risking lives".
"I'm standing between people smugglers and bringing a boat to Australia", he said. "Every arrival is on Bill Shorten [Leader of the Labor Party] and Labor's head".
Kyrie Irving of Boston Celtics exits with knee sprain
No one's getting traded; trade deadline is over. "For us to be a championship team, this (stuff) has to change", Morris said. For what it's worth, head coach Brad Stevens shouldered the brunt of the blame for the team's poor play.
Saudi prince likely to sign $10bn MoUs during upcoming visit
The adviser estimated minimum United States dollars 10 billion to USD 12 billion Saudi investment in Pakistan in the medium term. He said the three MOUs will be signed in the fields of oil refining, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and mineral development.