Wednesday, 06 October 2021
Media release

Joint media release with the Hon. Westly Nukundj MP - Finalisation of the Regional Resettlement Arrangement

The Australian and Papua New Guinean (PNG) Governments have agreed to finalise the Regional Resettlement Arrangement (RRA) at the end of 2021, realising a long shared objective of the PNG and Australian Governments.

The RRA, agreed by both countries on 19 July 2013, authorises regional processing in Papua New Guinea of people who have attempted to travel to Australia illegally by boat.

Under the timeline announced today, Australian Government regional processing contracts in PNG will cease on 31 December 2021 and will not be renewed. From 1 January 2022, the PNG Government will assume full management of regional processing services in PNG and full responsibility for those who remain.

Prior to 31 December 2021, Australia will support anyone subject to regional processing arrangements in PNG who wishes to voluntarily transfer to Nauru.

PNG will provide a permanent migration pathway for those wishing to remain in PNG – including access to citizenship, long-term support, settlement packages and family reunification. PNG will also provide support to people temporarily in PNG awaiting movement to a third country.

Australia’s strong border protection policies – including regional processing – have not changed. Anyone who attempts to enter Australia illegally by boat will be returned, or sent to Nauru.

Australia and PNG have been longstanding partners and regional leaders in the fight against maritime people smuggling and look forward to continuing this close cooperation into the future post-finalisation of the RRA.​​