Australia will reopen its Christmas Island detention centre

Government Suffers Historic Loss Over Asylum Seekers Medical Transfer Bill

Government Suffers Historic Loss Over Asylum Seekers Medical Transfer Bill

He said the government's border protection policies, which now includes the reopening of the Christmas Island centre, remain "a great deterrent" to people smuggling operations.

The Christmas Island detention centre closed in late 2018.

The Federal Opposition is trying to get the crossbench to agree to changes around medical transfers for asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island.

Morrison added: "My job now is to ensure that boats don't come, my job now is to do everything in my power to ensure that what the parliament has done to weaken our borders does not result in boats coming to Australia".

"My job now is to ensure the boats don't come", Morrison said.

About 1,200 refugees are estimated to be in exile in Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus, where they've been indefinitely detained for nearly six years.

"This is merely codifying something that the government itself says is happening now".

Retail inflation eases to 2.05% in January
Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) inflation stood at (-) 2.17 per cent in January as against (-) 2.65 per cent in December. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast January's annual increase in the consumer price index at 2.48 percent.

New Zealand Justice Minister Andrew Little told reporters in Wellington the decision to reopen Christmas Island was disappointing.

The Home Affairs Minister would have 72 hours to decide whether to block a transfer, which they could only do on national security grounds, or if the person seeking transfer has a criminal record and poses a risk to the community.

"Some of these people would have serious mental problems that need to be dealt with by specialists".

The laws passed the Senate on Wednesday and will be given royal assent.

Phil Glendenning, President of the Refugee Council of Australia said, "We thank and congratulate all the Members of Parliament and Senators who came together and voted with their conscience on this long overdue legislation".

Despite dire warnings about the health of offshore detainees from groups like Doctors Without Borders, the Coalition government has been reluctant to permit too many medical transfers.

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