6 Oct 2015

Nauru public surprised at asylum moves

3:45 pm on 6 October 2015

A Nauru opposition MP Marcus Stephen says few people on the island are aware of the government's announcement to finalise about 600 asylum-seeker applications within the next week.

The 600 are the last of the refugee claims to be processed in Nauru's Australian-run detention facility.

This follows an earlier announcement that the Nauru facility will become an 'open centre' 24 hours a day.

Nauru opposition MP and former President, Marcus Stephen.

Nauru opposition MP and former President, Marcus Stephen. Photo: AFP

Mr Stephen, a former president, says he only found out about the release of the asylum-seekers yesterday.

"That process, how safe and with this process is one question that needs to be answered as well. Even ourselves, we are not aware of what is going on with the refugees. They need to make an announcement that so and so numbers of refugees have be processed and released into the community."

Australia needs to 'do more'.

Marcus Stephen also says Australia should be doing more in response to potential security and policing issues on Nauru.

"One example is the police, we're not sure what the arrangement is, it's something, there is still that question mark that concerns about the refugees and the asylum-seekers. We need proper trained people and proper people on the island to be present on the island, so that they'll deal with things straight away."

The Nauru government has indicated Australia will provide more police assistance in response to the end of detention there.