30 Jul 2013

Australia begins preparations to expand Manus camp on PNG

5:00 am on 30 July 2013

Australia has completed four huge airlifts into Papua New Guinea as it prepares to expand its detention camp for asylum seekers on Manus Island.

The expansion follows Canberra's controversial decision to move all new would be refugees arriving by boat to Manus, and a commitment that any who achieve refugee status would not be re-settled in Australia.

Last week the department of immigration removed about 200 asylum seekers already on Manus, flying many of them to camps on the Australian mainland in a move to clear Manus for the expansion.

The department has used huge Antonov freighters to carry 40 containers to Port Moresby's Jackson's Airport, with each carrying tents, marquees, poles, frames and a range of building equipment.

The material is being transferred to Manus by smaller cargo planes.