Prime Minister Julia Gillard wrote to Tony Abbot last week regarding a parliament recall to pass the Migration law.
However, Tony Abbott knocked back the offer saying there was no point as the coalition was not in support of the people swap plan with Malaysia.
Gillard’s communication with Mr Abbott came just days before the weekend boat tragedy that rendered hundreds of migrants missing,
Today Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said Julia Gillard wrote to Mr Abbott last Wednesday assuring that she would recall Parliament to make changes to the Migration Act if the Opposition showed its support.
She also suggested Mr Bowen meet Opposition Immigration spokesman Scott Morrison to come up with a “mutually satisfactory outcome”.
But Mr Abbott wrote back on Friday saying there was not much point in further private discussions between the two spokespeople.
“Then of course we saw the tragic events of last weekend,” Mr Bowen said in Sydney.
Labor Party’s people swap deal with Malaysia cannot clear Parliament since it is opposed by the Coalition and Australian Greens.
The Opposition has proposed to process asylum seekers offshore in countries that have signed up to the UN refugee convention.
Up to 200 people are missing after a boat heading for Australia sank off Indonesia’s Java coast last weekend.