17 Aug 2012

PNG says Australia's asylum seekers won't be detained

12:51 pm on 17 August 2012

Papua New Guinea's Attorney General says any re-opened processing centre on Manus Island for Australia's asylum seekers would not be a detention facility.

Kerenga Kua's comment comes after Australia's Senate passed legislation to revive its policy of processing asylum seekers abroad - both on Manus and Nauru.

The National Capital Governor, Powes Parkop, has warned that locking up aslyum seekers is against PNG's law and culture.

However Mr Kua says no firm decision has been made by the cabinet yet, but that it is looking at how Australia's request can be accommodated within PNG's laws.

"His concern centres around what I think has been an initial misconception that this will be viewed as a detention centre. This will not be a detention centre. It will be a processing facility. The occupants of the facility, as in the past, will have the freedom to move around and interact in the community with the Manus people."

Kerenga Kua