Immigration and Border Protection

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November 23, 2017

Labor is aware from media reports that PNG authorities are undertaking an operation within the closed Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. 

Manus Island and Nauru were set up as regional transit processing facilities but have become places of indefinite detention because of the failure of the Turnbull Government to negotiate other third country resettlement options.

The situation at the closed Manus Island RPC could have been avoided if Malcolm Turnbull was clear from the start about refugees’ access to essential services at the alternative accommodation in PNG.

Turnbull has a moral obligation to work with PNG to deescalate tensions and guarantee the ongoing safety and security of these people.

Labor accepts that the former Manus Island RPC has closed as the result of a decision of the Supreme Court of PNG.

The men at the closed centre need to relocate to alternative accommodation – such as East Lorengau – to access security, health and welfare services.

It’s time Turnbull showed some leadership and immediately secured other third country resettlement options for eligible refugees, including accepting New Zealand’s offer and negotiating appropriate conditions – similar to those in the United States refugee resettlement agreement – to ensure people smugglers do not exploit vulnerable people.