21 Mar 2007

Australian Greens Party welcomes time limit for refugee processing on Nauru

10:03 am on 21 March 2007

The Australian opposition Greens say they welcome Nauru's decision to set a six month limit for Australia to process the latest group of asylum seekers on the island.

The Nauru government has told Australia that the latest group of boat people should leave the island within six months.

82 out of the 83 Sri Lankan boat people that were intercepted in Australian waters last month, were transferred to Nauru last weekend in line with the government's off-shore processing policy.

One of them is reportedly in Perth to receive medical treatment.

The Australian Greens senator, Kerry Nettle, says it will be very hard for Australia to resettle them in half a year.

"The Greens are calling on the Australian government to bring those asylum seekers to Australia, because six months is not going to be enough time for them to process them and to find another country for them to go to. So we think that they will inevitably be needed to be brought back to Australia and we should do it now so that we can give them proper services and access to lawyers right from the start. 20"