1 Aug 2013

First asylum seekers bound for PNG

9:49 am on 1 August 2013

The first asylum seekers to be sent to Papua New Guinea under Labor's tough border protection policy have left Australia.

The group of 40 single adult men departed Christmas Island on Wednesday for Manus Island, where their refugee claims will be assessed under PNG law.

They are expected to arrive at Manus Island on Thursday, AAP reports.

A video from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) shows the men being taken by bus to Christmas Island airport, where they boarded a plane that later took off.

"This demonstrates that if you come to Australia by boat without a visa, you will not be settled here," DIAC said in a statement.

Transfer to the regional processing centre on Manus Island will continue regularly, the department said.

The group was originally due to arrive at Manus Island on Wednesday, but bad weather delayed the journey.

DIAC says this first transfer formally brings into effect the Regional Settlement Arrangement, signed between Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill on 19 July.

Since the Rudd government announced its new hardline asylum seeker policy, 18 boats carrying 1452 people have arrived in Australian waters.