Friday, 24 November 2017
Media release

Manus update

The Australian Government is aware that all men previously refusing to leave the former Manus Island Regional Processing Centre (RPC) have now departed the complex for alternative accommodation.

The Australian Government welcomes this development.

The Papua New Guinea Government has been clear since mid-2016 that it would close the RPC.

Since May, information was provided on a weekly basis that the RPC was closing and services and support would transition to the alternative accommodation sites. Refugees could relocate to the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre (ELRTC) or West Lorengau Haus. Non-refugees could relocate to Hillside Haus.

This alternative accommodation has been available to house all inhabitants of the former RPC since October 31.

PNG continues to add capacity to West Lorengau Haus to cater for the return of those currently transferred to Port Moresby for medical treatment.

Food services, cleaning, security and the ELRTC-medical clinic are all operational and have been available since October 31.

Advocates in Australia are again today making inaccurate and exaggerated claims of violence and injuries on Manus, but fail to produce any evidence to prove these allegations.

What is clear is that there has been an organised attempt to provoke trouble and disrupt the new facilities.

The Australian Government has been advised that some equipment has been sabotaged at the alternative accommodation centres, including damage to backup generators.

Vandalism has also occurred to water infrastructure.

The equipment is being repaired or replaced and the Government understands these matters are under investigation.

Advocates should now desist from holding out false hope to these men that they will ever be brought to Australia.

Instead advocates should now encourage them to engage with PNG authorities for resettlement either through the US resettlement process or in PNG and for non-refugees to accept assistance packages to return to their home country.