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Australia opens resettlement facility on Manus Island



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Scott Morrison MP

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

Australia opens resettlement facility on Manus Island

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The East Lorengau resettlement facility on Manus Island has been officially opened by Minister for Immigration and Border Protection the Hon. Scott Morrison, as part of his visit to Papua New Guinea.

'This is a further positive step forward in our offshore policy arrangement with refugees to move into this new facility on Manus Island soon,' Minister Morrison said.

'On Monday, the Australian Government welcomed the Papua New Guinean government's announcement that a further 40 refugee status determinations have been signed, bringing total determinations to 50.

'The Government of PNG has advised me that those transferees found to be refugees will be given visas and moved from the Lombrum Regional Processing Centre to the new East Lorengau resettlement facility.

'These determinations are further evidence that the Abbott Government is working constructively and in partnership with the government of PNG to salvage and implement the regional resettlement arrangement that was little more than a blank sheet of paper when we were elected just over a year ago.'

The Minister also inspected the progress of key aid projects on the island that formed part of the original commitment, launching the roads and bridges project, inspecting construction works at Lorengau Market, and officially gifting the new wing of the Harbourside Hotel.

Formal employment has increased by more than 70 per cent on the island with around 1,000 jobs being taken up by local Manusians either in the operations of the centre or in related construction works.

During the joint ministerial forum held in Port Moresby with the Minister's PNG counterpart, the Ministers agreed to extend the Regional Resettlement Arrangement.

'Offshore processing and resettlement is an important component of the Government's successful border protection strategy. We welcome the significant progress we have made in the past year,' Minister Morrison said.

'However we also know that without turn backs and temporary protection visas, both opposed by Labor, this important element of our strategy would not be sufficient to stop the boats or keep them from returning. You have to work these policies together to stop the boats and that's exactly what we have done.

'The Coalition government is getting on with the job and achieving the results we said we would,' Minister Morrison said.