Scott Morrison stresses powerful nationwide safety insurance policies in blast at Labor

Prime Minister Scott Morrison

The fast-tracked medical transfers law will only apply to refugees and asylum seekers already on Manus Island and Nauru.

"Where we will always stand, and the Australian people can always trust us to do, is to have the mettle to ensure the integrity of our border protection framework. the Labor Party demonstrated tonight they have no such mettle".

On Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would reopen the Christmas Island detention centre - which closed past year - to cope with what he predicted would be an influx of transfers from Manus Island and Nauru.

Mr Morrison ruled out calling a snap election, saying the vote was not a no-confidence motion in his government and he was still planning for a national poll in May.

Mr Morrison fiercely opposed the bill but it was narrowly approved in the House of Representatives, where the government does not have a majority.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said he expected more boats to head for Australia in treacherous voyages that sometimes end in tragedy.

Mr Morrison declared national security measures would be strengthened under the government's Operation Sovereign Borders after the medivac bill was passed.

Late past year, public pressure over severe health issues facing children living on the islands prompted officials to allow all of them to be relocated to Australia.

About 1,200 refugees are estimated to be in exile in Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus, where they've been indefinitely detained for nearly six years.

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Labor leader Bill Shorten says his party is tough but fair on border control after it backed the bill.

"If you think that by buying a ticket on an unsafe boat, paying a people smuggler, a criminal syndicate, you'll get a better deal to come to Australia, you're wrong".

But criticism of the camps has grown amid reports of abuse, suicides and lengthy detention periods, even as the government says the policy is discouraging asylum seekers from embarking on unsafe sea voyages.

Shonky bankers could soon be jailed for up to 15 years and corporate crooks fined up to $525 million.

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

Labor has also added detail to the "character test" to be used to reject transfers if a refugee has a criminal record, helping to address concerns raised by the Greens and Dr Phelps.

Sick asylum seekers often have to fight the Australian government in court for permission to be transferred to an Australian hospital.

Opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King said the powerful Australian Health Reform Commission would develop and oversee long-term reforms, with the overarching aim of ensuring every Australian can access affordable, high-quality health care.

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