4 Aug 2013

Australia flags PNG tent city for 10,000 asylum seekers

9:03 pm on 4 August 2013

The federal opposition in Australia has scoffed at reports the government has earmarked a new site on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea for a tent city for up to 10,000 asylum seekers.

Immigration Minister Tony Burke has flagged a major expansion of detention places on PNG, as the government implements its new hardline policy.

He says it is proof that there's no cap on capacity.

But the opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said the federal government had failed to provide details about how it would access land and build service roads and infrastructure on the remote island.

Meanwhile, authorities have intercepted another suspected asylum seeker boat north of Christmas Island.

The 16 passengers have been detained on the island for health and security checks.

It's the 22nd boat to arrive since 19 July, when the Rudd government announced its new policy which will see asylum seekers processed on Manus Island and those found to be refugees resettled in PNG.

Those boats were carrying nearly 1600 people.

On Saturday, the Rudd government announced a similar deal with the Nauru government.