13 Aug 2012

Panel says Australia should have offshore camps

8:17 pm on 13 August 2012

In Australia, an independent panel considering how to break the deadlock over dealing with asylum seekers has recommended offshore processing centres.

The number of asylum seekers arriving by boat in recent months has increased, with at least 170 people reported to have arrived in three boats over the weekend.

The panel, led by former defence chief Angus Houston, recommends immediately setting up offshore processing centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Another of its 22 key recommendations is to pursue a refugee agreement with Malaysia.

The panel says the recommendations are aimed at encouraging people to seek asylum through official channels and reducing the number of illegal boat arrivals.