20 Dec 2014

In PNG, concern refugees will never be resettled

7:26 pm on 20 December 2014

The Manus MP Ronnie Knight says he doubts whether any of the the asylum seekers held at Australia's detention centre on Manus Island and found to be refugees will be permanently resettled in Papua New Guinea.

The first fifty asylum seekers determined to be refugees from the Manus processing centre are soon to enter a transit facility before fully entering the PNG community.

The government says the refugees will be resettled where jobs that match their skills are available.

But Mr Knight says there is already a chronic lack of employment opportunities for Papua New Guineans.

He says the refugees, who are mainly from the Middle East and Asia, will be hard pressed to fit in.

"I cannot envisage anyone - unless they have specialist skills that this country needs and they apply for citizenship and they go through all the proper prospcts of being a PNG citizen and they have to have a certain amount of money, business interests or family in PNG and they have to live in the country for a certain number of years like anybody else - I don't think that any of them will meet that criteria."

Ronnie Knight