Papua New Guinea would favourably consider reopening an asylum seekers’ processing centre if asked by Australia according to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
And in Nauru, the office of Dominic Tabuna, the Minister for Commerce, Industry and Environment, issued a statement saying that while Nauru stands ready to assist the Australian government, Nauru had “no say” in the debate now dividing Australia.
An assessment centre operated at the Lombrum naval base on Manus island from 2001 to 2004 as part of the Howard government’s “Pacific Solution”. About 350 asylum-seekers were processed at the centre.
In 2001 the Howard Government set up an asylum seekers’ processing centre on Nauru. By July 2005, 32 people were detained in the centre — 16 Iraqis, 11 Afghans, 2 Iranians, 2 Bangladeshis and 1 Pakistani.
The policy was abandoned under Labour Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2007 and up to 100 Nauruans lost their jobs. According to Nauru’s Foreign Minister up to 10 percent of the island’s population was indirectly affected by the closure.
News category: Pacific.