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PNG Prime Minister Peter O'neill hails decision on asylum centre

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has welcomed the decision by the High Court of Australia in declaring the asylum processing centre on Manus legal.
O’Neill said he was confident a similar legal challenge now before the Supreme Court in PNG “will find this policy to be within the law”.
“When we agreed with the government of Australia to implement this policy, we were confident about what this would achieve,” he said.
“For six months now, there has been no report of any illegal boat arrival in Australia. “Assessment of asylum claims is now progressing well with the majority indicating a return to their home country.
“Development projects agreed to under the deal with the Australian government, like the construction of a new Angau Hospital in Lae, are being implemented.
“The people of Manus and other Papua New Guineans are now benefiting from the spin-offs from this agreement.
“People smuggling is one of a number of regional and global challenge that PNG can help address. And we remain committed to working with Australia or any other country to address this issue.”
O’Neill will meet acting Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki this week to discuss police investigations into the riot at the detention centre in February which resulted in the death of an Iranian.
Former police commissioner Tom Kulunga and his former deputy Simon Kauba refused to accept the findings of an independent review by the Australian Government.
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