Australia and Papua New Guinea Sign MoU
Friday, 19 August 2011
The governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of an assessment centre on Manus Island, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, said today.
See: Australia/PNG MoU (27KB PDF file)
The Papua New Guinea Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Ano Pala and Australia's High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Ian Kemish, signed the Memorandum of Understanding in Port Moresby this afternoon.
Mr Bowen said the signing was the positive next step towards establishing an assessment centre on Manus Island.
'This is a welcome and important development in setting up an assessment centre on Manus Island for asylum seekers and formalises this arrangement between Australia and Papua New Guinea,' Mr Bowen said.
'Our two countries share a strong and longstanding relationship on migration and recognise the need for cooperative measures to respond to the complex regional challenge of irregular migration.
'This Government is committed to breaking the people smuggling trade. The Manus Island centre will complement the Malaysia transfer arrangement and provide further disincentive for people considering risking their lives on dangerous boat journeys.'
Mr Bowen said the Memorandum of Understanding provided a framework for ongoing discussions with PNG on the operational details of the assessment centre.
'We are committed to working in partnership with PNG to operationalise the assessment centre at the earliest opportunity,' he said.
'This MOU sends a clear message that countries in this region are working together towards a lasting regional response in taking action necessary to ensure the integrity of our borders and undermine people smuggling networks.'
Last update: Friday, 19 August 2011 at 18:03 AEST