The centenary voyage
Why PNG needs a thousand dreams

Manus: PNG wants high level Oz approach

THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper is reporting this morning that the proposed asylum-seeker processing centre on Manus remains in limbo because of political uncertainty in PNG and the Gillard government’s failure to take the issue forward at an acceptably senior level.

That said, Rowan Callick, the newspaper’s Asia-Pacific editor, writes that support in PNG for the centre is broad-based across government and opposition.

Callick says that PNG Foreign Minister, Don Polye, who is strongly placed to become interim leader of the National Alliance if Prime Minister Michael Somare's ill-health continues, has placed an asylum-seeker centre on the cabinet agenda.

Further information on the proposal is being sought by PNG, which also wants contact at a higher level in Canberra.

Australia has been represented in the talks so far by the Parliamentary Secretary Richard Marles, who Ms Gillard appointed as her special envoy to PNG on the issue.

Neither Julia Gillard nor Mr Rudd have visited PNG since the election of the Gillard government almost a year ago.

Callick writes that a visit by Mr Rudd -- who gained in-principle approval of the deal when he visited Sir Michael in hospital a few weeks ago -- might clinch a core deal within which details could be added later.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)