17 Dec 2007

Nauru Government seeks early meeting with Canberra to discuss cost of camp shutdown

7:32 pm on 17 December 2007

The Nauru Government says the Australian asylum seeker detention camp is a key part of the island's fragile economy and they want to speak with Canberra soon about how to adapt when it is shut down.

The new Australian Government has indicated the camp will be closed.

The Nauru Foreign Minister, David Adeang, says the camp, in existence for more than six years, provides 20 percent of Nauru's GDP.

Mr Adeang won't be drawn on what sort of measures his Government would like to see as part of this adaptation but he says there are significant issues to be attended to.

"There is going to be a big jump in unemployment once the offshore processing centre shuts down. There is going to be a big decline in services which the processing centre provides, for instance, to the hospitals here on Nauru, and to the provision of services at the government-owned Mening Hotel. These are some of the issues we need to be looking at."