19 Oct 2012

Australia opposition wants five-year Nauru detention terms

3:35 pm on 19 October 2012

The Australian opposition says the boatpeople detained by Canberra on Nauru could expect to spend at least five years on Nauru under a Coalition government.

The newspaper, The Australian, reports the opposition as promising a fundamental shift in asylum diplomacy, abandoning the quest for regional agreements in favour of practical deterrence measures.

It quotes the opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison as accusing Labor of allowing diplomatic efforts to solve the problem to be hijacked by the push for a regional protection framework.

Mr Morrison said the Coalition did not oppose regional co-operation, per se, but says the message needs to be more blunt.

That is if asylum seekers do arrive, it should be made clear they would be transferred to a processing hub abroad, such as Nauru, for at least five years.