Left high and dry

LORENGAU/CANBERRA, (POST COURIER) – Australia yesterday literally abandoned Manus Island in PNG, causing chaos and confusion for the asylum seekers and refugees and government officials.

Instead it said it would hold confirmed talks with PNG officials on how it would assist to help to maintain them.

All officials flew out at first light yesterday leaving the refugees to fend for themselves in preparation for their transfer to the new transit centre.

On departure, water and other normal services were switched off and the refugees barricaded themselves within the locked premises of the Refugee Processing Centre.

They are refusing to move to the transit facility where all necessary amenities have been prepared for them pending whatever is decided for their future.

Australia has vowed to help Papua New Guinea financially with the continuation of the Manus Regional Processing Centre despite an announcement that none of the 600 odd refugees will resettle in their country.

Acting Prime Minister Julie Bishop in a statement said the refugees and asylum seekers on Manus would be guaranteed all appropriate services at their alternative accommodation.

On the same note, Immigration and Border Minister Peter Dutton also released a statement on Manus strongly attesting that these people who sought to subvert Australia’s laws by paying people smugglers to bring them illegally to Australia by boat will never resettle in Australia.

“The Coalition Government has had a clear and consistent policy since coming to office; no one who attempts to enter Australia illegally by boat will ever settle here,” Mr Dutton said.

“Six hundred men at the Manus Regional Processing Centre (RPC) in Papua New Guinea who attempted to enter Australia illegally via people smuggler’s boats — now aided and abetted by so called ‘advocates’ and the Greens — are trying to force a change to that policy.

“They will not,” Mr Dutton said.

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