Asylum seekers arrive on Nauru

Last updated 14:42 14/09/2012

Relevant offers

South Pacific

The long walk to water: How hard can it be to carry 20 litres through steep, remote bush? OPINION: Our Pacific neighbours in Vanuatu are dying for a drink Astronomers discover 114 new planets Air Force Orion crew locates drifting Tongan boat Underwater volcano erupting near Tonga Waiheke Island takes a stand over double-deckers Powerful quake hits off Papua New Guinea Strong quake hits off Solomon Islands CIA files: Libyan efforts to build a South Pacific united revolutionary front Tongans dying on NZ roads leave grieving families struggling to cope

The first asylum seekers to be processed on Nauru in four years have arrived and are settling into tent accommodation on the Pacific island.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen told reporters in Sydney the first transfer of a group of men by aircraft from Christmas Island to Nauru on Friday morning had gone smoothly and without incident.

"Today is a significant day," Mr Bowen said.

He said people smugglers had been "peddling lies" that offshore processing would not happen.

Mr Bowen said work was continuing on other recommendations arising from an expert panel on asylum seeker police led by former defence chief Angus Houston and released last month.

"Implementing all of them is key to breaking the people-smugglers' business model," he said.

The minister said more transfers would occur next week and in weeks to come.
Decisions on who would be taken to Nauru would be made on operational grounds by the immigration

department.

But Mr Bowen said a "broad cross section" of asylum seekers would be involved.

Asked if that included children, Mr Bowen said: "We are not going to provide loopholes for people to exploit."

Ad Feedback

- AAP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content