Aus­tralia warned on Manus

The Daily Examiner - - NEWS -

WITH the Manus Is­land de­ten­tion cen­tre sched­uled to close to­day, Pa­pua New Guinea has warned the Turn­bull Gov­ern­ment it is Aus­tralia's re­spon­si­bil­ity to deal with refugees who do not want to re­set­tle in PNG.

The 600-plus asy­lum seek­ers are re­sist­ing at­tempts to move them, fear­ful of a vi­o­lent back­lash from lo­cals who op­pose the planned re­lo­ca­tion of the men into and around the is­land's main town of Loren­gau.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, PNG Im­mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter Petrus Thomas said PNG had no obli­ga­tion un­der the cur­rent ar­range­ment to deal with those who had not been granted refugee sta­tus and refugees who re­fused to stay in PNG.

“They re­main the re­spon­si­bil­ity of Aus­tralia to pur­sue third-coun­try op­tions and li­aise with re­spec­tive gov­ern­ments of the non-refugees for their vol­un­tary or in­vol­un­tary re­turn," he said.

Mr Thomas said his gov­ern­ment had dis­charged its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties un­der the two coun­tries' asy­lum seeker pro­cess­ing ar­range­ment.

”There has to be a clear un­der­stand­ing of what Aus­tralia will con­tinue to do and sup­port PNG in the next few months to deal with the re­main­ing case load," he said.

"I call on Aus­tralia to main­tain the nec­es­sary health and men­tal health ser­vices, prefer­ably by a lo­cal health ser­vice provider, or main­tain the cur­rent ar­range­ment be­tween In­ter­na­tional Health and Med­i­cal Ser­vices and Pa­cific In­ter­na­tional Hospi­tal."

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