14 Jul 2006

Australian Senator says new migration laws may place unfair burden on PNG

6:16 pm on 14 July 2006

An Australian opposition senator says if Canberra's passes tough new migration laws it could place an unfair burden on Papua New Guinea a country with limited resources to help asylum seekers.

Senator Kerry Nettle this week visited with some of the many hundreds of Papuan refugees in the northern PNG town of Wewak.

She says she is concerned at the impact of planned new laws aimed at ensuring asylum seeker arriving by boat are dealt offshore.

"And I am worried that if Australia introduces migration legislation which sends a message to the people of Indonesia that it is O.K. to treat West Papuans as they do and leads to West Papuans getting a message they can't go to Australia - that there may be more West Papuans coming into Papua New Guinea and it will be very difficult for those people to survive in Papua New Guinea."