23 Dec 2011

Australian govt now willing to consider Nauru

9:43 am on 23 December 2011

Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says the federal government is willing to consider sending asylum seekers to Nauru to break a political deadlock over offshore processing.

The government wrote to the opposition last week requesting a meeting to try to break the deadlock over the processing of asylum seekers.

The opposition rejected the request, saying it wanted a written proposal before agreeing to a meeting.

The ABC reports the government has now sent a proposal and Mr Bowen says all options are on the table if the Coalition is prepared to pass legislation that will allow the Malaysia people swap deal to proceed.

However, the government's letter said it will not reinstate temporary protection visas.

The government hopes the concession will finally bring opposition leader Tony Abbott to the negotiating table.

Until now, Mr Abbott has said he would not agree to talks until the government puts something in writing.

He has also refused to support any compromise which could see the government retain parts of its Malaysian solution.