13 Apr 2006

Australian government to look at radical measures for Papuans seeking asylums

10:15 am on 13 April 2006

The Australian Federal government is looking at radical measures which may see Papuans seeking asylum in Australia sent to the detention centre on the Pacific island of Nauru.

The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reports the move follows an angry reaction from the Indonesian Government to Australia's recent granting of protection visas to 42 people from the Indonesian province of Papua.

The measures decided on yesterday by cabinet's national security committee include provision for foreign nations to provide information on conditions in areas from which people have fled.

Sources said last night that sending Papuans to the detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea was an option, but they were more likely to be sent to Nauru, where Australia sent hundreds of asylum seekers, including those rescued by the Norwegian freighter the Tampa in 2001.