27 Nov 2007

Human rights activist says Nauru will need compensation from Canberra when camp closes

2:52 pm on 27 November 2007

A human rights activist says Australia will need to increase its aid spending to Nauru should the new Labor government decide to close its detention centre there.

For the past six years, the former Howard government has used its detention centre on Nauru to house asylum seekers under its so-called Pacific Solution.

The newly elected prime minister, Kevin Rudd, had said during the election campaign that his government would end the controversial policy and shut down the centre on Nauru.

Susan Metcalfe welcomes the likely closure but she is also worried about the economic effects of a shut down.

"I feel quite concerned for Nauru, there is quite a dependency on the camps and to pull them out very quickly will hurt the country, I believe. I hope that the Labor party will handle that transition very carefully. They need to have a lot of discussions with the Nauruan government and the aid package that they give, I hope, will be substantial."

Susan Metcalfe says the wage of one Nauruan camp worker often provides for the livelihoods of many families.