10 May 2013

Australia's PM says trip to PNG does not include visit to Manus centre

4:38 am on 10 May 2013

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she has no intention of visiting the Australian run detention centre on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island as part of her first official visit to the Pacific nation.

The Greens on Thursday issued a call for Ms Gillard to visit the facility.

Ms Gillard told reporters in Port Moresby she receives information about what is happening on Manus Island

She also adds that more recently Australia's Immigration Minister, and her country's high commissioner in PNG have visited the centre.

Ms Gillard says the purpose of her visit is a broader one, which is about the full breadth of bilateral relations between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

During her visit Ms Gillard will discuss trade and defence ties with her counterpart Peter O'Neill.

She said the O'Neill government is committed to building a permanent detainee processing centre on Manus Island, with construction expected to begin in July.

The government of PNG has chosen a site for the permanent centre which is closer to Manus province's capital, Lorengau.

The centre has recently come under criticism for its poor living conditions, including a lack of running water and power outages.

Australia's immigration department says those problems have been fixed.