24 Dec 2010

Australia intercepts dozens of PNG nationals in Torres Strait

6:07 am on 24 December 2010

Australian authorities have intercepted more than 110 Papua New Guineans who tried to cross Torres Strait as part of a campaign to be given Australian citizenship.

The group, Papua Australia Plaintiff United Affiliates, wants Australia to recognise that Papuans were not given a choice to remain Australians when PNG became independent in 1975.

Australian immigration officials say a group of nine PNG nationals were intercepted late on Wednesday near Cape York where they were refused entry to Australia and detained.

They say a second group of up to 110 people was intercepted at Warrior Reef and is being taken to Horn Island.

The PNG group's leader, Jonathan Baure, has said another 20 boats will make the journey in coming days.