February 26, 2013
Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor has visited the Manus Island processing centre in Papua New Guinea and says the living conditions there are “adequate”.
Mr O’Connor spent several hours at the processing centre yesterday and spoke with service providers and asylum seekers.
The detainees, including more than 30 children, are living in tents and dongas.
Critics have described the conditions as harsh and oppressive, but Mr O’Connor disagrees.
“People are treated well, people are fed well, people are accommodated in what are temporary facilities,” he said.
Mr O’Connor says the asylum seekers are more concerned about their claims for refugee status than their living conditions.
The responsibility for processing the claims has been given to the PNG government but it is still developing a legal framework to deal with them.