6 Oct 2012

PNG asylum seeker centre to be open within weeks

8:31 am on 6 October 2012

The Australian government says asylum seeker processing on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island will start within weeks.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports legislation is expected to be introduced into parliament in the coming weeks, which would allow Manus Island to be reopened.

The Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen met with PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill on Friday to discuss progress on reopening the processing centre.

He says they have worked closely to ensure the facility is ready soon.

Meanwhile Australia has sent a further 33 male asylum seekers to its processing centre on Nauru.

The Nauru government says they arrived in a chartered flight of Nauru's national carrier, Our Airline.

It says the group is made up of 14 Afghans, 18 Sri-Lankans and one Iranian.

The Nauru government says the transfer from the aircraft to the Topside camp took place without incident.

The latest group brings to 181 the number of asylum seekers sent to Nauru since Canberra last month revived its earlier policy of processing its asylum seekers abroad.

It is anticipated that more people will be moved to Nauru over the coming weeks, but no details have been given.