31 Oct 2012

Australia says processing refugee claims for asylum seekers some way off

12:16 pm on 31 October 2012

The Australian Government says it is still gathering information so it will be some time before the processing of refugee claims for asylum seekers on Nauru can start.

The asylum seekers have staged several protests calling for Canberra to move them back to Australia and for the processing of their claims of refugee status to begin.

But the government says it is complex and detailed work and so it won't begin for some time yet.

Meg Rivera reports:

"A spokeswoman for the Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says data is still being collated from organisations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Australian diplomatic posts. She says the infomation is around the processing and resettlement times for a range of cohorts in various circumstances. 381 asylum seekers have been sent to Nauru following the Australian government's new policy of processing asylum seekers offshore. The government has reiterated its commitment to implement recommendations of the expert panel on asylum-seekers and says in the meantime it won't be providing people smugglers with a how-to-guide."

This is Meg Rivera