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Full Text Of The Asylum Seekers Agreement With Papua New Guinea

The federal government has released the text of the agreement with Papua New Guinea announced yesterday.

REGIONAL RESETTLEMENT ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND PAPUA NEW GUINEA

This Arrangement outlines further practical measures Australia and Papua New Guinea will pursue together to combat people smuggling. It builds on the mutually agreed principles governing cooperation set out in the Joint Partnership Declaration signed in Port Moresby in May 2013, notes that Australia and Papua New Guinea have a common interest in addressing regional and global challenges, in collaboration with the wider region, including other countries in the South Pacific. The cooperation outlined in this Arrangement underlines the strategic importance and enduring nature of the bilateral relationship, and the commitment of both governments to ensure that the relationship remains relevant to contemporary challenges. [Read more…]


Rudd’s Boat People Policy: All Asylum Seekers To Be Sent To PNG

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill have announced an agreement that will ensure asylum seekers who arrive by boat will be sent to Manus Island and refused settlement in Australia.

The two prime ministers signed the Regional Settlement Arrangement in Brisbane this afternoon. Speaking at a press conference, Kevin Rudd said: “As of today asylum seekers who come here by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia.”

Rudd

Rudd said the plan was aimed at destroying the business model of the people smugglers. “Be in no doubt. If people are paying thousands and thousands of dollars to a people smuggler they are buying a ticket to a country other than Australia.”

From today, asylum seekers who arrive by boat will undergo medical checks and then be sent to Manus Island. If found to be genuine asylum seekers, they will be resettled in PNG.

There is no cap on the number of people who will be sent to Manus Island. The agreement will be reviewed in 12 months.

In return for PNG’s co-operation, Australia has undertaken to provide funding for education and health projects.

The Australian Greens condemned the plan and said it was “a day of shame” for Australia.

The Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, gave tentative support to the plan but cast doubt on Labor’s ability to implement it. He said: “I welcome it but it won’t work under Mr. Rudd.”

The PNG solution is likely to neutralise the issue of asylum seekers in the forthcoming elections. Speculation continues to mount that Rudd will call an election for August 31.

Kevin Rudd has also released an “Address to the Nation” on the asylum seekers issue.

Text of statement from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

AUSTRALIA AND PAPUA NEW GUINEA REGIONAL SETTLEMENT ARRANGEMENT

As of today asylum seekers who come here by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia.

Under the new arrangement signed with Papua New Guinea today – the Regional Settlement Arrangement – unauthorised arrivals will be sent to Papua New Guinea for assessment and if found to be a refugee will be settled there. [Read more…]


Howard And Somare Discuss Aid To Papua New Guinea

This is the transcript of the press conference held by the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, and the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Michael Somare, in Port Moresby.

Somare, the nation’s first prime minister after independence in 1975, was recently re-elected to the position. [Read more…]