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October 30, 2020
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Australia Will Meet Resettlement Costs

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Parliament was informed today that Australia will meet all costs associated with resettling refugees in Papua New Guinea.

This came from Foreign Affairs Minister, Rimbink Pato, when responding to a supplementary question. Minister Pato said there has not been any situation like this, however, if and when it comes up, Australia will take full responsibility.

 

When parliament met today, the Manus Asylum processing centre was one of the topics of discussion. It was raised by Manus Governor, Charlie Benjamin, who wanted to know if it was the intention of the state to expand the Lombrum asylum processing centre.

 

Foreign Affairs Minister, Rimbink Pato denied this, stating that there will be a new centre as an extension, however, not on Lombrum Naval base.

 

A supplementary questioned was raised by member for Kikori, Mark Maipaki, questioning whether the PNG government will meet the cost of resettling refugees if they ever chose PNG as a resettlement option.

 

Minister Pato informed parliament that Australia will meet all associated costs if this comes about. He told parliament that under the resettlement arrangement, Australia has committed 1.2 billion dollars towards the setting up of the processing centre, plus other cost related to developing the processing centre.

 

The government, in the next review of this agreement, will take into account the cost relating to resettling genuine refugees in PNG, and present its position to the Australian government.

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