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Labor, coalition at odds over asylum law

Labor, coalition at odds over asylum law

Christmas island, an Australian territory located on 380 km from Indonesia's Java island, was until 2012 the point of arrival of boats of undocumented migrants trying to seek asylum in the Oceanic country.

"This bill changes the response to medical emergencies in offshore detention on Manus Island and Nauru".

The Prime Minister has announced detention facilities on Christmas Island will be re-opened as contentious asylum seeker laws move through parliament.

The amendment, approved by the Senate on Wednesday, dealt a blow to the ruling conservative coalition which is trailing heavily in polls ahead of an election due in May.

"I think there's no question that people smugglers will be hearing very clearly that the policy in Australia has changed", he told ABC's 7.30 program.

He said this year's poll would again be a referendum on border protection, despite voters making their views on the issue "crystal clear" all those years ago, and again in 2013 when Labor was booted from office after Tony Abbott's "stop the boats" campaign.

Scott Morrison announced $78 million in fresh funding for families escaping domestic abuse, as part of a wider speech about domestic and global security.

The Australian government has suffered an historic defeat, losing a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives for the first time since 1941.

Labor and the crossbenchers combined on Tuesday to win a series of 75-74 votes over the coalition government on a bill to give easier medical transfers to asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru.

According to media reports, security agencies also briefed the opposition leader Bill Shorten on the controversial bill's ramifications. Morrison had said that the bill would "take control from the government" and "unleash a world of woe".

"As well as giving in-principle support to the recommendations of the royal commission, a Shorten Labor government will fund a dedicated special prosecutor to bring corporate criminals to justice", he said.

"What we have done is got the balance right".

"You can have strong policies on the border but you can act with decency and humanity as well", said Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen. "We don't want the vile people smuggler trade in business, exploiting people's misery", Shorten said.

"[It] makes sure if there are people who are in genuine medical need, then they will receive that assistance".

"The priority for me having met with the general of Operation Sovereign Borders is to deal with the hard circumstance that Bill Shorten created", Dutton told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) television.

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