Papua New Guinea designated for regional processing
Tuesday, 09 October 2012
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, has this morning signed the legislative instrument designating Papua New Guinea (PNG) as a regional processing country under the Migration Act.
Mr Bowen said he will table the designation documents in Parliament today.
'Subject to both houses of Parliament passing a resolution approving the designation, the designation will allow for the transfer of irregular maritime arrivals who arrived after 13 August to PNG,' Mr Bowen said.
'These documents outline the terms of agreement with the PNG Government and the fact I have now designated PNG as a regional processing country.'
The Minister has determined that it is in the national interest to begin transferring people to PNG as set out in the Statement of Reasons, including:
- PNG has given Australia the assurances around the principle of non-refoulement and the assessment of asylum claims in line with the Refugee Convention
- Designating PNG as a regional processing country will discourage irregular and dangerous maritime voyages and thereby reduce the risk of the loss of life at sea
- The designation promotes the maintenance of a fair and orderly refugee and humanitarian program that retains the confidence of the Australian people
- Designating PNG as a regional processing country promotes regional cooperation on irregular migration and people smuggling and its undesirable consequences
- Arrangements already in place in PNG and those that are proposed to be put in place are satisfactory.
'The government is committed to implementing the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers,' Mr Bowen said.
'The designation tabled today is another step in implementing the comprehensive and integrated approach to irregular maritime arrivals, as recommended by the Expert Panel.'
The update Memorandum of Understanding with the PNG Government was signed on 8 September this year. Further announcements about processing arrangements in PNG will be made in due course.
The Papua New Guinea Designation and Statement of Reasons are attached.
See: Papua New Guinea Designation and Statement of Reasons (47KB PDF file)
Last update: Tuesday, 09 October 2012 at 09:04 AEST