19 Oct 2010

Fiji claims add to delay of Australia migration reviews

4:17 pm on 19 October 2010

A senior member of Australia's Migration Review Tribunal says a spike in the number of Fiji citizens seeking asylum in Australia is to be blamed for significant delays in processing thousands of migration review cases.

Denis O'Brien has told a Senate hearing in Canberra that thousands of migration cases are more than 12 months old due to the workload created by refugees.

The development follows reports from refugee advocates of increasing numbers of Fiji people seeking asylum to escape persecution at the hands of the Fiji military government of interim prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

It is not known how many applications have been lodged by people from Fiji and how many have been accepted.