Australia asylum bill voted down

Saturday, 30 June 2012 02:36 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

BBC: Australia’s parliament has voted down an asylum bill after fierce debate reignited by the sinking of two boats in the past week. The bill would have reopened a detention centre on Nauru and allowed the government to send asylum-seekers to Malaysia for processing. The bill passed in the lower house but was defeated in the Senate. Meanwhile dozens of people rescued after Wednesday’s sinking have been transferred to Christmas Island.

Following the vote, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that an expert group led by former Defence Chief Angus Houston would be formed to look into possible solutions to the impasse. She asked the group to report its findings before parliament convened again in August. She had earlier warned that this was the ‘‘last chance” for parliament to pass the bill before it took a break.