12 Sep 2011

Australian PM signals legislation on asylum seekers

9:01 pm on 12 September 2011

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says legislation will be introduced to Parliament next week to allow offshore processing of asylum seekers and give the government the power to decide where they should be sent.

Ms Gillard says the government would use the changes to send asylum seekers to Malaysia and, as a back-up, Papua New Guinea.

The government requires the support of the opposition as its coalition partners, the Greens, oppose offshore processing of asylum seekers.

The law changes are designed to get around a recent High Court decision that blocked the government's plans to send the asylum seekers to Malaysia.

Julia Gillard says Malaysia still offers the best answer to the issue of asylum seekers and people smuggling.