25 Jul 2013

Foreign aid grants for detention facilities abuse of power - Australia's Greens

7:32 pm on 25 July 2013

The Australian Greens party says the government's plan to use foreign aid grants to settle asylum seekers in the Pacific is an abuse of power.

The immigration spokeswoman, Sarah Hanson-Young, says there are reports the government may use its foreign aid contribution to Solomon Islands to win a similar deal to what it set up with Papua New Guinea.

PNG and Australia signed a regional settlement arrangement last Friday, which says boat people found to be refugees will be resettled in PNG.

Ms Hanson-Young says the government has already slashed Australia's aid budget to pay for detention facilities in PNG's Manus Island and Nauru.

She says she is worried the PNG deal will be paid for by the Australian aid budget.

"Reports from the Foreign Minister here in Australia, Bob Carr, that they are also considering setting up a detention camp in Solomon Islands is even more worrying - that Australia's aid budget is going to be inherently linked with inflicting more cruelty on refugees with a litany of detention camps across the Pacific."

The Greens' immigration spokeswoman, Sarah Hanson-Young