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Refugees leave Manus for Australia.

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Refugees Leave Manus for Australia MPS 70/2002

The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Philip Ruddock said today 42 refugees from the immigration processing centre on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, had arrived in Australia.

The Minister said the arrival in Sydney today was in line with the Australian Government's commitment to take its fair share of people who are living in the off-shore processing centres in PNG and Nauru and are found to be refugees.

The group, the first to come from Manus, comprised one man, 13 women and 28 children.

Thirty-eight of the group have immediate family members such as a spouse or parent in Australia and were given resettlement priority.

"The resettlement of further refugees from the offshore processing centres is under consideration by my Department and other countries.

"These arrivals join 18 people who have already come to Australia from the offshore processing centre on Nauru," Mr Ruddock said.

A number of countries have indicated a willingness to consider cases for resettlement. New Zealand has already resettled 59 people from Nauru.

Further movements to Australia and other countries are expected over the next few months.

All 42 refugees have been granted a three-year temporary protection visa.

"This visa is available to people who have abandoned or by-passed effective protection in a country of first asylum and travelled to another country to seek a preferred migration option," Mr Ruddock said.

30 July 2002

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URL: Last update: 31 July 2002 at 12:04 AEST