22 Jul 2019

PNG's Marape wants Australia to close Manus detention camps

11:14 am on 22 July 2019

Papua New Guinea's new prime minister wants Australia to close the offshore detention centres it has been running on PNG's Manus island for six years.

According to Australian media, James Marape wants Canberra to give him a timeline for closing the facilities where Australia has been holding refugees and asylum seekers who it says will never be allowed to enter Australia.

Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape, June 2019.

Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape, June 2019. Photo: PNG PM Media

Mr Marape has met the home affairs minister Peter Dutton and told the ABC that he would like the offshore processing to be ended as soon as possible.

Australia has been operating a deal with the United States to shift up to 1250 refugees from offshore detention on Manus and Nauru, with about 580 resettled in the US so far.

SBS reported 457 men remain in PNG and its estimated 350 people are still on Nauru.

Consecutive New Zealand governments have offered to take 150 of the refugees each year but neither Australia nor PNG has acted on it.

New Zealand also offered assistance to PNG to run services on Manus two years ago, which Mr Dutton described as a waste of money.

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