Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Australia immigration minister to visit Manus Island centre


Immigration Minister Chris Bowen will visit the asylum seeker processing centre on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island this week.
Mr Bowen left Australia today for the Australia-PNG ministerial forum talks in Port Moresby.
But he says the trip also presents a timely opportunity to visit Manus Island.
"Australia is committed to making these arrangements work through close cooperation with the PNG government, Manus province and key stakeholders there," Mr Bowen said in a statement.
"The Australian government appreciates the cooperation of the PNG government in working together on this important regional issue."
The government so far has transferred 47 people - including a number of children - to the Manus Island centre, which Labor reopened as part of the tough offshore processing regime it embraced in August.
The centre is expected to accommodate about 600 people.
Local landowners repeatedly have threatened to protest against the re-establishment of the Howard government-era facility amid demands for compensation for use of traditional land.

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