19 Jul 2010

Canberra not likely to ever consider Nauru for asylum seekers

4:03 pm on 19 July 2010

An Australian think tank on international policy says it's unlikely Nauru will again be considered by Australia as the location for a processing centre for asylum seekers.

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she wants East Timor to set up a regional processing base, but East Timor's leaders are unconvinced.

Australian-run detention centres operated in Nauru and Papua New Guinea from 2001 to 2008.

Nauru's government has already indicated it'd be keen to take on the role again although it hasn't yet signed up to the UN Convention on Refugees.

The Lowy Institute's Lisa Roberts says she doubts financially strapped and politically troubled Nauru would be considered again.

"The country would have to be a signatory to the UN refugee convention so that's one condition. And recently the Foreign Minister also announced that it should not be a destination or transit country. And Gillard with further comments that have been made over the last week, said that the country should be relatively stable."

The Lowy Institute's Lisa Roberts.

PNG doesn't have plans to recommission its Manus Island Centre.