PM reopens Christmas Island as asylum seeker bill moves through Senate

Independent Member for Wentworth Kerryn Phelps during Question Time on Tuesday

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

"If we're re-elected it won't apply to anybody because I will reverse it", he said.

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

Even still, Mr Shorten believes the "incompetent and divided" Morrison government should call an election as soon as possible.

Changes to Australia's border policy have passed through parliament, as the government warns this will lead to more illegal boat arrivals.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison before losing the vote on Tuesday night.

Australia will reopen its Christmas Island immigration centre after the Morrison government suffered a historic defeat in the House of Representatives on the refugee medevac bill.

The Justice Party senator said it was the "toughest decision" of his time in parliament.

Section 53 is "non-justiciable" and therefore a court will not decide if a law is valid, meaning the government can not challenge the medical transfer bill in the High Court.

"Once a government loses control of government finances, it is obliged to resign or seek a dissolution", Professor Twomey told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

"I know how much the people who are sick on Manus Island and Nauru are suffering and Parliament is saying enough is enough,"Dr Phelps said after the vote".

Kelly Nicholls from the Refugee Council of Australia said doctors' advice on medical transfers should be paramount.

If the minister rejects the medical reasons, the decision may be reviewed by a medical panel, which can recommend it goes ahead.

Under the negotiated amendments, the home affairs minister will have 72 hours to make a decision on whether to agree to a medical transfer.

Then it's up to the minister to reject it on medical grounds again, or national security grounds, or if the person has a substantial criminal record and poses a threat to the Australian community.

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