Western Australia welcomes plan

Islands, Normal

The National, Tuesday, May 10, 2011

WESTERN Australia premier Colin Barnett has welcomed an Australian government proposal to establish a regional processing centre for asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea.
Papua New Guinea’s Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Don Polye has confirmed Australia had asked PNG last week to house a regional processing centre, preferably reviving the Manus Island detention centre, which was part of the Howard government Pacific solution in the early 2000s, but said no decision had been made.
According to Radio Australia, Barnett said at the weekend that a facility in PNG would ease the pressure off immigration detention centres at Christmas Island and Villawood.
He said there was bound to be trouble when facilities such as Christmas Island detention centre were overcrowded.
“New sites need to be found.”
“I think it is important to have sites off the Australian mainland.
“That makes it easier to deal with the situation, rather than having rights of appeal and all the rest of it under Australian law.”