1 Dec 2012

Second batch of asylum seekers arrive on PNG's Manus

8:21 am on 1 December 2012

A second batch of asylum seekers transferred from Australia have landed on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island as prime minister Peter O'Neill declares he will not hand out cash to island landowners demanding compensation.

The group of 28 mostly Sri Lankan and Iranian asylum seekers landed at Manus Island airport.

Correspondents say there was a heavy presence of PNG's mobile riot police at the airport.

Between 64 and 75 police have been in the province since a landowner group and disgruntled provincial officials blockaded the airport two weeks ago.

Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says the latest group of asylum seekers consisted of some families, while witnesses on the island said there was between nine and 12 children among them.

Already 19 asylum seekers are being housed at the temporary tent processing facility on PNG's Lombrum naval base in Manus province.

Landowners have repeatedly threatened to protest against the re-establishment of the Howard government-era detention facility amid their demands for compensation for use of traditional land.

Peter O'Neill has categorically ruled out cash payments to landowner groups in compensation.

Mr O'Neill says landowners have to understand there is an extremely generous package for them which includes building schools, and the rebuilding of the local hospital, amongst other things.

He says the government is not in the business of handing out cash to anybody.