8 Dec 2012

Seven asylum families sent to Manus Island

1:53 pm on 8 December 2012

Seven asylum seeker families have been sent by Australia to the Manus Island processing centre.

The group of 20, made up of 16 Sri Lankans and four Iraqis, is the third batch of asylum seekers sent to Papua New Guinea.

They left Christmas Island and arrived early on Saturday morning, escorted by Australian Federal Police, immigration, medical and children's services staff and interpreters.

AAP reports the latest transfer brings the total number of asylum seekers on Manus Island to 67.

The Department of Immigration said transfers would continue on a regular basis.

Labor reopened the facility as part of a tough offshore processing regime it embraced in August, following recommendations from an expert panel on asylum seekers.

AAP reports the centre is expected to accommodate about 600 people when it is completed.