Minister to visit Nauru and Papua New Guinea
Tuesday, 02 October 2012
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, leaves for Nauru and Papua New Guinea (PNG) tomorrow morning to take a first-hand look at how regional processing arrangements are progressing.
'This timely visit provides an opportunity for me to assess how our regional operations are proceeding and reaffirm in person Australia's appreciation of Nauru and Papua New Guinea's commitment to hosting these centres,' Mr Bowen said.
'Regional processing on Nauru and PNG is vital to addressing irregular migration in our region, and is a key recommendation of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers.'
Mr Bowen said he would consult with a range of local stakeholders in both countries to assess and receive feedback on the progress of the arrangements.
The minister will meet with the President of Nauru, Sprent Dabwido, and members of his government, as well as inspect the regional processing centre, and meet with service providers and Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel on the island.
In Papua New Guinea, the ministerial delegation will meet with Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, his Attorney-General, Minister for Defence and other members of the PNG Government.
'Australia is committed to making these arrangements work through close cooperation with both the Nauru and Papua New Guinea governments and key stakeholders there,' Mr Bowen said.
'We are determined to expose the people smugglers' business model for what is: a ruthless con. There is no visa awaiting boat arrivals, no speedy outcome and no special treatment.'
The government has completed five transfers to Nauru, with 148 people currently accommodated in the temporary facility. Meanwhile, ADF works in PNG are well underway to reinstate the facility on Manus Island.
Last update: Tuesday, 02 October 2012 at 16:45 AEST