Bill Shorten faces boat turn-back test

FEDERAL Labor is facing a heated debate on its position on turning back asylum seeker boats at sea when party officials gather in late July.

While Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has not outlined a specific policy response to the Abbott government's controversial policy, some Labor MPs are speaking out.

One such MP, Ed Husic, told Sky News on Monday he did not support the policy, but the party's official position would be confirmed at the national conference next month.

Mr Shorten said on Monday he would not rule out adopting the government's policy if Labor won the next election, while frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon urged colleagues to do so.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said Labor was "hopelessly split".