5 Aug 2013

Not too late for PM to worm out of refugee deal, says PNG opposition MP

1:24 pm on 5 August 2013

A senior Papua New Guinea opposition MP says it's not too late for the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill to review the refugee resettlement agreement he signed with Australia.

Under the agreement, all boat people arriving in Australia who are subsequently found to be refugees will be resettled in PNG.

Dr Allan Marat says Mr O'Neill failed to consult parliament about this agreement, which he says opens PNG up to a wide range of problems, should hundreds of refugees from foreign cultures settle in the country.

Dr Marat, who is a former Attorney General, says in his view the agreement lacks legitimacy.

"Even the Grand Chief, Sir Michael Somare, who is in government, he is openly opposed to it. I don't think it's too late for Peter O'Neill to worm himself out of it. I keep referring to it as his agreement - it's not an agreement for Papua New Guinea... because parliament never debated it."

Dr Allan Marat