You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Aust gains time to find Manus solution

AAP logoAAP 27/10/2016

The government appears to have dodged a bullet, with PNG's top court rejecting an application which could have required Australia to take away more than 300 asylum seekers and refugees who had been sent to Manus Island.

But it may not be the end, with the application only dismissed late on Thursday on a technicality and the 302 planning to try again.

That follows an earlier PNG Supreme Court ruling which found detaining people on Manus breached their constitutional right to personal liberty and was thus illegal.

The PNG government is moving to close the centre but it's so far set no timeframe.

In the latest case, lawyers for the detainees applied for the return to Australia of all asylum seekers and refugees who wish to go. For those who didn't want to go to Australia, the court would require transfer to an acceptable third country.

The Australian government has repeatedly declared that none of those on Manus or Nauru, who sought to reach Australia aboard people smuggler boats from Indonesia, will be allowed to settle in Australia.

The Australian government has been trying to find a third country solution but so far hasn't succeeded.

In September, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said negotiations were continuing with unspecified third countries to resettle those on Nauru and Manus.

"We remain engaged with several countries to alleviate these issues but negotiations will necessarily be protracted," he said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon