Asylum facility a ‘secret spy network’

 Port Moresby (The NATIONAL): The asylum seekers facility in Manus has been described as a “secret spy network” operated by the Australian government on PNG soil.
A source in the public service on the island claimed the centre was “not accessible” to anyone accept authorised personnel, mainly Australians who flew in from their country. 
The source said: “Things there are done in secret.” 
“It is difficult to get information about what is happening there.
“It is no longer a public matter. It has become private.”
He described the area as having strict rules for visitors. Mobile phones are not allowed and people are not allowed to take pictures.
He said it was “politically privatised” because only a few politicians, government officials and business interests had access to the facility and knew about its operations.
“The media is not even allowed in there,” he said.
The source said former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill when signing the asylum seekers deal in 2011 had a clause in the agreement stating that Manus would benefit from the deal.
“To date nothing has happened,” he said.
“The hospital, schools and road conditions in Manus remain the same.”
But he said O’Neill had visited the island in January this year and gave K33 million to the province.
“This fund is not from the agreement signed. It is PNG government money,” he said.
The source agreed with Lombrum landowners chairman John Lou that the new asylum seekers agreement signed by Kevin Rudd and O’Neill should concentrate on developing Manus first before other provinces.
“The sub-contracts must also be given to locals,” he said.
Meanwhile, The National was yesterday refused entry into the asylum seekers processing facility. This reporter was told to leave his contact details so that the camp management would get in touch with him.
The camp is undergoing development with excavators and other heavy machines clearing space for buildings.
At another end, workmen were busy putting up pre-fabricated buildings and linesmen connecting power to the facility.
Two busloads of expatriates, mainly Australians were dropped at the processing centre.
Australian army personnel in camouflage uniforms were also seen on Monday unloading equipment and other logistics at the Tarangau Naval Base wharf near the processing centre.
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