13 Aug 2012

Australian urged to reopen asylum seeker centres on PNG and Nauru

5:57 pm on 13 August 2012

A panel tasked by Australia's government with looking at how to stem asylum seeker boat arrivals has recommended establishing processing centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

The panel, led by former Defence Force head Angus Houston, has also advocated that the government's controversial people-swap deal with Malaysia should be kept as a second option.

Reopening of the Nauru processing centre looms as a solution acceptable to both the coalition government and the opposition.

Government officials have had talks with PNG officials earlier this year about the possible re-opening of the centre on Manus Island.

The panel recommends legislation be introduced urgently to support the transfer of asylum-seekers to regional processing centres.

The legislation would require the parliament to sign off on any future designation of offshore processing locations.