Business leaders query deal

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 24th, 2013

 BUSINESS leaders in Papua New Guinea want answers as to how the asylum seeker deal with Australia will work, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation  (ABC) reports.

ABC says some business people are nervous but others are open to the asylum seeker deal and calling on Australia’s opposition leader Tony Abbot to support it.

On current numbers PNG would need to be ready to take 30,000 boat arrivals a year, it says.

PNG Business Council president Ernie Gangloff told the ABC that PNG would have trouble processing that number and urged Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to meet with business to discuss their concerns.

“The issue we have here, as most people are aware, is an acute shortage of land; just where they will be housed and accommodated and how they will be funded,” Gangloff said.

“The concern we also have is we are not sure of the details of what kind of status they will be given while they are here in PNG. At the moment we have more questions than answers.”

Landowner association president at the Manus island detention centre Mary Handen said she hoped under the new agreement locals would not miss out on services.