26 Aug 2013

PNG's migration officer's concerns on asylum seekers leaked

1:43 pm on 26 August 2013

Papua New Guinea's chief migration officer has ordered an investigation into the leaking of a departmental memo in which he raised concerns over Australia's new border protection policy.

News Corp Australia on Friday quoted a confidential memo written by Mataio Rabura raising doubts about PNG's capability to house up to 3,000 of Australia's asylum seekers on Manus Island.

Australia currently has 382 asylum seekers housed in large marquees in a facility on the Lombrum naval base.

Mr Rabura said he had not criticised the plan, but was raising questions about administration and implementation issues.

He also said he had ordered an investigation into the leaking of the memo, and described those who sent it to the press as misguided.

The Foreign Minister, Rimbink Pato, dismissed the memo and said Australia's new asylum-seeker plan is working.

The July 18 memo sent by Mr Rabura to Mr Pato and chief secretary to government Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc detailed a list of concerns over PNG's capability to handle a mass influx of asylum seekers.