28 Jul 2011

Australian leader says they're still focussed on Manus detention centre

3:29 pm on 28 July 2011

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard says her government is focusing on securing a deal with Papua New Guinea to re-establish the asylum seeker detention centre on Manus Island.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports her comments come as she defends criticism over her government's new refugee swapping arrangement with Malaysia.

Domestic pressure is growing for Ms Gillard's government to forge a soltution that will address the large number of asylum seekers arriving in Australia and to deter future boat arrivals.

She says negotiations with PNG's government over the use of Manus are slow because of political upheaval caused by the ill health of the prime minister, Sir Michael Somare.