15 Aug 2013

Governor says asylum seeker deal belittles PNG government.

6:51 am on 15 August 2013

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's Oro province has described the government's asylum seeker deal with Australia as a gimmick to satisfy the ego of Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and help his election chances.

Governor Gary Juffa says PNG lacks the capacity to cope with the deal, under which all so-called boat people seeking asylum in Australia are processed in PNG and - if found to be genuine refugees - likely to be permanently resettled there.

Mr Juffa says the PNG Government has belittled itself by agreeing to help Kevin Rudd commit his country to circumventing its international obligations relating to refugees.

The Oro Governor claims PNG lacks the intelligence capacity to assess and counter the threats posed by the deal, and what measures to take to protect PNG interests.

He says to meet the responsibility of resettling refugees, PNG would need to rely more on Australia again which undermines his country's independence.