Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has said that the asylum seekers on Manus Island have no place in Australia and that the government expected Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court decision for months.
Dutton said in an interview with The TODAY Show that the seekers will be prohibited from resettling in Australia and that they will coordinate with the PNG government in either sending them back home or settle them in third world countries.
PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill declared that the regional processing center would be shut down after the Supreme Court ruled that the center was illegal.
Dutton said that there was the capability to transfer the men to Nauru but will continue to have discussions with the PNG government.
Meanwhile, PNG High Commissioner to Australia Charles Lepani said that talks about closing the center will begin next week, according to 9news.com.au.
He divulged that the only job of the PNG is to process the asylum seekers and it is for Australia to decide what to do with them.
“It’s not for us to decide or urge Australia to take them on,” Lepani told ABC. “We cannot force them to settle (in PNG).”
Labor’s immigration spokesman Richard Marles, however, is hoping that the PNG government would change its mind in closing the center. He suggests changing the laws of the country or giving them more money.
The PNG declared on Tuesday that the detention of asylum seekers in Manus Island was illegal, stating that it the seekers’ right to personal liberty under its constitution. The Australian and PNG governments have been tasked to make quick actions to stop it.
Dutton asserted that no asylum seekers will be granted entry in Australian soil and that it will not be changing its border protection guidelines anytime soon.
The health of asylum seekers also came into the forefront three months ago when it was revealed that they were being prescribed with a drug that creates or worsens mental health.