Scott Morrison reopens Christmas Island asylum seeker detention centre

And with a statement from Speaker Tony Smith Australia's constitution suddenly came into play

And with a statement from Speaker Tony Smith Australia's constitution suddenly came into play

This will put pressure on the government for votes that require an absolute majority of 76 members, such as the legislation to bring asylum seekers to Australia for medical reasons.

Australia's conservative minority government suffered a monumental political defeat on Tuesday, becoming the first administration in almost a century to lose a vote on major legislation and fuelling calls for a snap election.

It lost a vote on the Medivac Bill 75 to 74.

Labor, the Greens and four independents backed the bill in the Senate.

The Morrison government has suffered an historic defeat, losing the first substantive vote on the floor of the House since 1929, after Labor and the crossbench stared down a bare knuckle tactical offensive by the Coalition, including late advice that the medical evacuations bill was unconstitutional.

Immigration policy requires asylum seekers intercepted at sea to be sent to camps in PNG and its northern island of Nauru, and they can not set foot in Australia, even if they are found to be refugees.

"My job now is to do everything within my power, and in the power of the government, to ensure that what the parliament has done to weaken our borders does not result in boats coming to Australia".

Police investigating video of woman throwing chair near the Gardiner
Saturday in the area of Harbour and York Sts., and that other items were thrown from the balcony as well. The video cuts off just before the chair hits the ground, so it's unclear if anyone was hurt.

"I'm not sure if it's going to have any great effect (on votes) but I do think it's a precursor to what the government's going to try and do in the election campaign".

Morrison last week ruled out calling a snap election if his government was defeated over the "stupid" bill.

Numerous independent MPs have indicated they want the government to serve its full term, which ends in May. But because it was amended in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, it returned to the Senate for another vote on Wednesday.

Since then, the government had lurched from crisis to crisis, and a disastrous showing in elections in Victoria state sparked fears that it would also lose the national poll.

Earlier, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten sought to send his own message to would- be asylum seekers.

Rights groups praised the vote, with the Human Rights Law Centre calling it a "watershed moment in refugee politics and Australian history".

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