2 Nov 2012

Australia gives aid for PNG refugee centre

11:26 am on 2 November 2012

Australia is giving more than 8 million US dollars in aid to PNG's Manus Island, where it is planning to build an asylum seeker detention centre.

The aid comes amid ongoing uncertainty over landowner concerns about the deal, as well as the threat of legal action to halt the opening of the facility.

The Australian high commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Ian Kemish, says the aid, already committed before the asylum centre was planned, will pay for medical scholarships and equipment, and for schools to be built on the small collection of islands that make up Manus province.

He says Australia is committed to assisting PNG achieve improved development outcomes for all Papua New Guineans, and ialready providing significant support to Manus.