Manus Detention Centre Will Be Closed 'As Soon As Possible', But We Still Don't Know When That Will Be

No closure date, no funding commitments, very little detail.

17/08/2016 5:13 PM AEST | Updated 17/08/2016 6:48 PM AEST
Stringer . / Reuters
Peter Dutton said the 854 men would be resettled in PNG or sent home.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says Manus detention centre will be closed "as soon as possible" after talks with Papua New Guinea on Wednesday, but has made no commitment over a timeframe or funding arrangements.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill made a statement on Wednesday evening -- following a meeting with Dutton in Port Moresby -- announcing both countries had agreed to the detention centre's closure, three months after the PNG Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional.

Speaking on ABC's Radio National program on Wednesday evening, Dutton said the centre will be closed "as soon as possible" but was unclear whether it would even be closed by the end of 2016.

The statements released by Dutton and O'Neill provided little detail, particularly over when the centre would be expected to be closed, and what monetary commitments would be made by both Governments.

The Immigration Minister said 854 men on Manus will be resettled in Papua New Guinea or sent back to their home country, but "under no circumstance" will they be resettled in Australia or Nauru.

The Federal Government will provide additional funds to Papua New Guinea to aid the closure of the centre and resettlement process, but Dutton would not give a ballpark figure.

"It has been a longstanding position of this Government to work with PNG to close Manus and support those people as they transition to PNG or return to their country of origin," Dutton said in a statement.

"Our position, confirmed again today with PNG, is that no one from Manus Island Regional Processing Centre will ever be settled in Australia."

More On This Topic