The Evacuation to Safety Bill which was introduced to Parliament on Wednesday, 8 March, by Greens senator Nick McKim was defeated by 24 votes to 12.
The idea behind the Evacuation to Safety Bill was to offer refugees and asylum seekers in offshore processing the opportunity to transfer to Australia while they waited for resettlement in another country like New Zealand, provided they are not subject to an adverse security assessment.
Department of Home Affairs was against the Evacuation to Safety Bill because it might offend the Nauru Government if people were brought from there to Australia.
Currently there are 66 refugees and asylum seekers in offshore processing facilities on Nauru and 92 in PNG. The only way to access urgent medical care in Australia for these people is through an emergency transfer process which is a complex legal and logistical matter.