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  • Demonstrators hold placards during a rally in support of refugees that was part of a national campaign in central Sydney, Australia, on Oct 11, 2015.

    Demonstrators hold placards during a rally in support of refugees that was part of a national campaign in central Sydney, Australia, on Oct 11, 2015. | Photo: Reuters file

Published 13 February 2019

The Australian government recently announced that it will be reopening a refugee detention camp in response to the new bill protecting migrants. 

The Australian government recently announced that it will be reopening a refugee detention camp which comes at the back of a new wave of asylum seekers who will arrive by boat and in the aftermath of parliament passing a legislation that would return asylum seekers the access to its mainland hospitals.

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Aussie PM Suffers Historic Defeat Over Health Refugees Bill

This represents a reaffirmation of the government’s hardline immigration policy in response to a new legislation that's gaining strength in congress—which would allow refugees and asylum seekers held in offshore camps on Nauru and Manus island to travel to mainland Australia in order to access medical treatment, on the diagnosis of two doctors.

The bill, promoted by the opposition Labor Party, is aimed toward providing treatment for ill people.

“The Australian people understand our nation can be strong on borders and still treat people humanely (...) We can preserve our national security and still look after people to whom we owe a duty” said Labor Party leader Bill Shorten.

The bill passed on Wednesday is set to become law as it has reached the upper house of the Australian Senate.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the reopening of the detention camp under the justification that the passing of the law would increase the number of asylum seekers and refugees in the country.

The vote in favor of the bill - 75-74, represents a historic and damaging political defeat for Australia’s conservative minority government. In effect, this is the first defeat for a conservative government in nearly a century.

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