19 Nov 2009

PNG government willing to re-open refugee detention centre to help Australia out

8:00 pm on 19 November 2009

Papua New Guinea officials say they would be prepared to reopen the Manus Island detention centre to help solve the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's asylum seeker problem.

Australia used the facility for offshore detention of asylum seekers from late 2001.

The PNG foreign minister, Sam Abal, says if there is a request from Australia, his government will consider it.

Australia changed its policy when the government changed and now processes asylum seekers at Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean while maintaining laws that excise certain islands from Australia's migration zone.