First asylum seekers arrive on Nauru

September 14, 2012

Asylum seekers

The first asylum seekers arrive in Nauru this morning Picture: Clint Deidenang Source: Supplied

A plane carrying dozens of Sri Lankan men arrived on Nauru this morning as the airlift to transport asylum seekers from Christmas Island began.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has confirmed a group of 30 single adult men arrived to be housed in the tent city set up by the Australian Army.

The group is the first to be dealt with under the Federal Government’s new offshore processing legislation.

However, Mr Bowen refused to provide details of how the group was selected and said the decision was made by his department.

“Operational reasons. I think you can expect to see a broad cross-section of people transferred to Nauru next week and in coming weeks,” he told a news conference.

Tent city at Topside, Nauru

The tent city at the Topside processing site in Nauru. where asylum seekers will be housed. Picture: Clint Deidenang

The Immigration Department said the temporary tents will initially house 150 asylum seekers, who will sleep five to a tent in the all-male camp.

The tents have wooden flooring, lighting and power.

The Army has also set up kitchens, a dining hall and facilities for people to use phones and the internet.

Women and children will be housed elsewhere on the island.

The Opposition claims asylum seekers sent to Nauru can expect to wait up to five years to be resettled under the Federal Government’s plans.

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Filed under Asylum Policy, PNG/Pacific Solution, Torturing and Health Issues

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