9 Dec 2012

Nauru protesters intimidating others: Morrison

1:52 pm on 9 December 2012

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says around a dozen asylum seekers at the offshore processing centre on Nauru are intimidating others to protest against their detention on the island.

Mr Morrison recently returned to Australia from a visit to Nauru and said a group of less than 12 were involved in organising protests there.

"There are people there who are trying to bring the place down, that is their intent," Mr Morrison told Sky News on Sunday.

"It is largely an Iranian group, which is a small group within the facility."

Mr Morrison said the group "disrupt and intimidate" others living in the facility to join the protests.

Construction work on a permanent facility on Nauru is set to begin in the next few weeks.

AAP reports the new centre will accommodate 900 people, up from around 400 in the present temporary facility.

Mr Morrison said boats would continue to arrive in Australian waters unless the government changed tack on its policies.

Outstanding issues included the reintroduction of temporary protection visas, turning the boats back where it was safe to do so, and a single-minded focus on deterrence within the region.