Global

Christmas Island: Australia 'to re-open' controversial detention centre

Christmas Island: Australia 'to re-open' controversial detention centre

While the medivac bill comes as a win for doctors, detainees and social advocacy groups it comes as a blow to Prime Minister Scott Morrison who staunchly opposed the bill over fears it would re-energise people smuggling to the country.

"I totally repudiate the attacks of the government, seeking to whip up fear and hysteria, seeking to lure people smugglers to entice people onto boats to come to Australia", he told reporters.

Mr Dutton said any new arrivals would go to Nauru, but added it was also possible medical transferees could end up on Christmas Island, where the detention centre will be reopened after closing in October past year.

"Today Labor will fight for more jail time and increased penalties for banks and bankers who do the wrong thing", Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said.

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.

As many as 300 asylum seekers held in Pacific detention centers may be eligible to apply for medical transfers to Australia after hardline immigration laws were eased, media reports and a government official said on Thursday.

On Tuesday, non-government MPs secured enough votes to pass a bill making it easier for sick refugees held offshore to be treated in the country.

The changes included a provision that only the 1,000 asylum seekers now held on Nauru and Papua New Guinea and not any future arrivals would be considered for medical evacuation under the new regime.

The Labor leader said the Coalition should be "ashamed of themselves for luring people to Australia by somehow implying that this Government hasn't got strong borders".

More news: Ocasio-Cortez Breaks Silence On Ilhan Omar's Anti-Israel Comments: 'I'm Proud'

In the past when seriously ill asylum seekers were treated on the mainland, advocates and lawyers obtained a court injunction preventing their return to PNG or Nauru.

"We have approved putting in place the reopening of the Christmas Island detention facilities, both to deal with the prospect of arrivals as well as dealing with the prospect of transfers", Morrison said.

"Reopening Christmas Island is nothing short of a cruel and unnecessary political stunt".

"There is no question that people smugglers will be hearing very clearly that the policy in Australia has changed", Dutton said.

But the coalition is anxious this discretion hinges on the length of prison sentences.

The Home Affairs minister would have 72 hours to make a decision on the transfer.

While the applications have not been lodged, the government was told to expect the medical recommendations, a view supported by advice from International Health and Medical Services, the contractor providing medical care to the asylum seekers. "Last time I did that, you didn't get here".

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


  • Arsene Wenger - Real Madrid is over for me

    Arsene Wenger - Real Madrid is over for me

    Llorente also admitted that Harry Kane's injury played a key role in him staying as it would offer him more playing time. The team started to feel comfortable, then we scored. "We took some rash decisions".
    El Chapo verdict proof money can't buy happiness: Mexican president

    El Chapo verdict proof money can't buy happiness: Mexican president

    For the first time , Guzman was taken to a prison in Mexico in 2004; however, he escaped in 2001 after hiding in a laundry cart. Marshals continued to patrol the building in the wake of Guzman's internationally-watched guilty verdict .
    Arsenal can seal Premier League top four spot - Unai Emery

    Arsenal can seal Premier League top four spot - Unai Emery

    Arsenal now have back to back Europa League matches against BATE Borisov before Premier League action returns in two weeks. After 26 games we are on our way and our motivation is very great and we've brought our target closer.
  • Offset shares footage of Cardi B in delivery room

    Offset shares footage of Cardi B in delivery room

    The 26-year-old rapper's decision to deactivate the profile comes after a slew of hateful comments about her win at the Grammys . Earlier in the evening, Cardi wowed the crowd with a performance of "Money" on a lavish, cushioned, lounge club set.
    US Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar enters 2020 presidential race

    US Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar enters 2020 presidential race

    Supreme Court nomination hearing of Brett Kavanaugh, when she and Kavanaugh got into a brief exchange about excessive drinking. Senator Amy Klobuchar , a moderate Democrat, on Sunday announced her candidacy for President of the United States .
    17 killed as fire hits hotel in New Delhi (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

    17 killed as fire hits hotel in New Delhi (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

    According to the fire officer, the hotel had fire-fighting equipment, but it is not known whether it was functional or not. Most of the victims were sleeping when the fire broke out, believed to have been caused by a short circuit, media said.
  • JPL Says RIP To The Mars Rover

    JPL Says RIP To The Mars Rover

    In addition to its unprecedented lifespan, Opportunity provided the world with valuable geological information about Mars. The rover sent back images of former water reserves, providing signs that ancient life could have once existed on Mars.
    BAFTA 2019: Kate Middleton, Vision In White, Sparkles In Princess Diana's Earrings

    BAFTA 2019: Kate Middleton, Vision In White, Sparkles In Princess Diana's Earrings

    After pictures of Kate Middleton at the BAFTA ceremony went viral, several social media users decoded her look and deduced that the earrings Kate wore were once owned by Princess Diana .
    Azpilicueta devastated by Chelsea’s defeat against Manchester City

    Azpilicueta devastated by Chelsea’s defeat against Manchester City

    Aguero is now the joint top scorer in the Premier League with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and quickly brushed off the miss. The only reason I came to City , the chairman and the people here, they believe in me and don't think badly when I lose.
  • Clues That BTS May Present a GRAMMY to the Backstreet Boys

    Clues That BTS May Present a GRAMMY to the Backstreet Boys

    More recently, Bruce received a Grammy nomination in 2017, at the 60th Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word Album for Born To Run. The 61st Annual Grammy Awards will broadcast the show live from the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on February 10th, at 8 p.m.
    Whitaker Stuns Committee by Telling Judiciary Chairman ‘Your Five Minutes Is Up’

    Whitaker Stuns Committee by Telling Judiciary Chairman ‘Your Five Minutes Is Up’

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein oversaw the investigation until Whitaker was appointed after Sessions's resignation. Chairman, I see that your five minutes is up, so I am...", said Whitaker, as there were groans through the hearing room.
    Amazon reconsiders building new headquarters in New York City: WaPo

    Amazon reconsiders building new headquarters in New York City: WaPo

    This will include a refundable tax credit, through the state's Excelsior Program, of up to $1.2 billion over the next 10 years. Local industry leaders responded to the news report by urging elected officials and New York City to back Amazon's plan.