12 Aug 2002

Australian opposition says Pacific Solution not working

3:05 pm on 12 August 2002

Australia's Opposition leader Simon Crean, says that Papua New Guinea's refusal to take more asylum seekers on Manus Island shows the Pacific solution is unravelling.

Last week, PNG's Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, said the country would not take any more asylum seekers, once the deal between Australia and the previous PNG government expires in October.

More than 300 asylum seekers have been processed on Manus Island since Australia made the deal last year.

Mr Crean told the AAP news agency that the collapse of the deal shows the so-called Pacific solution will not solve Australia's boat people problem.

He says this is a political solution not a Pacific solution and the sooner the government comes up with a lasting plan the better.