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Manus Island: Turnbull declines New Zealand refugee offer

Manus Island: Turnbull declines New Zealand refugee offer

The New Zealand deal was originally proposed by Ardern's predecessor John Key, of the National Party, who suggested New Zealand take 150 of the asylum seekers that were being held in Australia's offshore detention centres.

Turnbull said he would not, at this time, take up the offer from his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern.

"In that wake of that arrangement we can consider other ones.

We say its well past time that the New Zealand government takes action to rescue these people and bring them here".

More than 600 refugees have barricaded themselves in Manus Island detention centre, which closed on Tuesday, fearful they will be attacked if they move to alternative unfenced accommodation.

Ms Ardern will leave for the meeting on Thursday and is seeking a number of bilateral meetings - particularly with the leaders of countries where there are impending trade issues.

Prime Minister Turnbull said that the Government intends to complete its arrangement with the U.S., which will see 1250 refugees resettled, before it pursues any further arrangements with different countries.

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"We of course do not have the circumstances that Australia is operating under, but we also can not ignore the human face of what Australia is dealing with".

Mr Turnbull's decision not to accept the offer may prolong what Greens leader Richard Di Natale has called a "humanitarian catastrophe" on Manus Island.

Mr Thomas also said the PNG government could not continue to bear the cost of watching over residents at the mothballed centre.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten believes the federal government should accept the offer.

'However, the government will not shirk its responsibilities and we are prepared to work with relevant authorities to ensure the needs of refugees and non- refugees are provided and they have access to necessary services'.

"We should give consideration to what New Zealand is offering", former immigration minister Kevin Andrews told Sky News on Sunday.


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