12 Aug 2011

New PNG government says considerable support for the reopening of detention centre

7:31 am on 12 August 2011

The Chief of Staff of Papua New Guinea's new Prime Minister says there is considerable high level support for the re-opening of the Manus Island asylum seeker detention centre.

Ben Micah says Peter O'Neill and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard have discussed the matter and there is agreement to reopen the centre though no time frame has yet been decided.

The centre was opened in 2001 as part of Australia's Pacific Solution but closed just three years later.

Mr Micah says the ball is now in Australia's court in regard to the next steps while the reopening has gathered momentum.

"Yes our Prime Minister would not otherwise given that assurance to his Australian counterpart.I believe the Governor for Manus and the MP for Manus, who is now the Minister of Fisheries has also given the support for the facility to be reopened."