Australia, Papua New Guinea agree to close Refugee Detention Camp but offers no details on the fate of 854 detainees
Papua New Guinea and Australia have agreed to close the controversial Manus Island detention centre, more than three months after PNG’s Supreme Court found it was unconstitutional, PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said Wednesday.
Mr O’Neill said he met Mr Dutton in Port Moresby and “both Papua New Guinea and Australia are in agreement that the centre is to be closed.”
Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed the future closure, after meeting with PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on Wednesday. He told the ABC that no-one from the centre would be resettled in Australia.
“It has been the longstanding position of this government to work with PNG to close Manus and support those people as they transition into PNG or return to their country of origin,” Dutton said.
However no detail was provided on how the closure would be implemented and where about 850 men detained on Manus will be moved to, given the Turnbull government has failed to devise a third country resettlement option.
Dutton also failed to give any indication as to where those held on Manus would go, but said none of the refugees would ever be settled in Australia.
“Our position, confirmed again today with PNG, is that no one from Manus Island regional processing centre will ever be settled in Australia” Dutton clarified.
In April, Papua New Guinea’s high court ruled the offshore detention center to be illegal and in breach of the constitution.
Meanwhile, more than 100 former staff from Australia’s offshore detention facilities on Wednesday called for the asylum seekers and refugees to be brought to Australia, according to news reports.
Australia’s policy on migrants and refugees is strict. Asylum-seekers attempting to reach Australia by boat are intercepted at sea and ent offshore to detention centers. According to Australian officials say they will never be allowed to settle in the country.