Friday, 23 August 2019
Latest news
Main » Derryn Hinch to vote with Labor and pass refugee medical transfer bill

Derryn Hinch to vote with Labor and pass refugee medical transfer bill

13 February 2019

The Australian government has lost control of the parliament for the first time in nearly a century, losing a major vote on a bill to help evacuate critically ill refugees from offshore processing centers.

But the 75-74 vote - which came on the first sitting day of Parliament this year - in favour of the refugee Bill opposed by the government is a blow to the already embattled Prime Minister and raised questions about whether he can remain in office.

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

"I think most Australians now see fortunately before the election, unlike the case with (former ALP PM Kevin) Rudd, a Labor Party unravelling a successful border protection policy".

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.

"With the last few children leaving Nauru and the provision of adequate medical care now in sight, we are hopefully witnessing an end to the race to the bottom on refugee policy", said Mr Glendenning.

Senator Hinch backed the bill in the Senate late past year.

"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 in a press conference following his government's defeat in the parliament.

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

He also pledged to reverse the legislation if he won the next election and had a majority.

The government says the Christmas Island re-start will cost about $1.4 billion over four years.

'Under Labor's law, a person who has been convicted of serious offences would have to come to Australia and there is nothing the minister could do to stop it, ' he said.

"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.

Major changes to Australia's health system would be led by a new, independent expert commission under a federal Labor government, making reforms harder to unpick.

Meanwhile, Labor is aiming to ramp up penalties against bankers and financial institutions who break the law. People have died as a result.

This change is meant to protect refugees who need medical help but might have been convicted of minor offences or perhaps crimes of freedom of expression in their home countries.

Derryn Hinch to vote with Labor and pass refugee medical transfer bill