16 Aug 2012

Australian MPs approve offshore processing camps for asylum seekers

5:39 am on 16 August 2012

Australian MPs have approved laws allowing offshore processing camps for asylum seekers to be re-established in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

The lower house passed a bill presented to parliament on Tuesday, following recommendations from an expert panel.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass in coming days because both the governing Labor Party and the opposition back it.

Labor, under former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, closed the camps in 2007.

The debate on the legislation in the lower house lasted for six hours on Tuesday and continued the next day.

Only two MPs - an independent and one from the Australian Greens party - voted against the bill.