Senate set for showdown on refuge seekers

A Showdown is threatening in the Senate on the treatment of refuge seekers with attention to focus on whether any coalition senators cross the floor.

The Senate is probable to vote today on the Government's controversial plan to stop charging asylum seekers for the cost of their obligatory detention.

The coalition's policy is to oppose the change, saying a tough line is needed to deter illegal immigrant.

But some coalition MPs split from the party line in the House of Representatives in June, giving emotional speeches citing caring reasons.

Now the bill is before the Senate and union senators could hold its fate in their hands.

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