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Labor shifts on medivacs for asylum seekers ahead of vote today

13 February 2019

Speaking in front of Parliament House this morning, Morrison reiterated his position the vote will encourage people smugglers to continue their operations in Australian waters - and that reopening the shuttered centre was part of a contingency plan to dissuade those potential arrivals.

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

Mr Price said that the Government did not consult with his administration prior to making the call to re-open the detention centre and said that there has been no explanation of how they will be able to treat the influx of refugees and asylum seekers "in a humane way".

The Christmas Island detention centre was mothballed late a year ago as part of a pre-election promise to shutter a series of immigration facilities.

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Mr Shorten dismissed that claim and argued the bill simply allowed for better medical care for asylum seekers who needed help in Australia.

Mr Morrison ruled out calling a snap election, saying the vote was not a no-confidence motion in his government and he was still planning for a national election in May.

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".

"We haven't actually physically seen the amendments that went through the Senate last night".

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"I hope that Mr Hinch, as I'm sure that he will because I think that he is a responsible person and he shows leadership, will heed the advice of the agency heads", Mr Dutton told reporters in Canberra. "People have died as a result", Ms Nicholls said.

"Our government is running border protection in this country".

He said he had taken the "point of view" of security agencies on board.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten sought to send a message to would-be asylum seekers.

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Labor shifts on medivacs for asylum seekers ahead of vote today