18 Feb 2016

Turnbull unlikely to accept NZ's refugee offer

6:26 pm on 18 February 2016

New Zealand's offer to accept asylum seekers is an embarrassment for Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a refugee group says.

Malcolm Turnbull speaks during a news conference after winning the party leadership ballot on 14 September.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Photo: Getty Images

The matter will be on the agenda when Mr Turnbull meets his New Zealand counterpart John Key in Sydney tomorrow.

Mr Turnbull told reporters yesterday he wouldn't comment on any possible change to Australia's policy of refusing to send up to 150 refugees a year to New Zealand.

Spokesman for Australia's Refugee Action Coalition Ian Rintoul said Mr Turnbull was under pressure over the future of 267 asylum seekers who faced going back to Nauru.

"There's a lot of pressure on Malcolm Turnbull at the moment, to find the solution for the 267," he said.

"The fact that the offer has come from New Zealand has increased the pressure on Malcolm Turnbull to do the right thing."

However, Mr Rintoul said Mr Turnbull was unlikely to change his stance on New Zealand's offer.

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