2 Sep 2011

Revival of Nauru detention centre not ruled out

8:14 am on 2 September 2011

Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has not ruled out reviving the Nauru detention centre and temporary protection visas after the High Court scuttled a refugee swap deal with Malaysia.

Mr Bowen says the High Court has ''applied a new test'' to protecting asylum seekers during offshore processing.

He said in Canberra that the decision had ramifications not only for the Malaysian deal, but for offshore processing generally, and was likely to encourage people smugglers to ramp up their trade.

Cabinet will now meet to consider the next move by the federal government.

Mr Bowen said the government would keep all options on the table.

The ABC reports the cabinet will also consider what will be done with 335 asylum seekers on Christmas Island who were scheduled to be flown to Malaysia.

In a 6-1 ruling issued on Wednesday, the High Court found Malaysia was not legally bound to protect the asylum seekers under the Migration Act, which therefore made the declaration invalid.

It placed a permanent injunction on the movement of asylum seekers to Malaysia.

Officials will also not be allowed to send unaccompanied children away from Australia without the written consent of the immigration minister.