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

Get onboard visa ban, Dutton tells Labor

AAP logoAAP 13/11/2016

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has upped the pressure on Labor to back the government's plan for a lifetime visa ban on asylum seekers arriving by boat, warning new arrivals could jeopardise resettlement negotiations with third countries.

The government has settled on a deal with the US to take a yet-to-be-determined number of refugees now on Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

"We don't want vacancies filled by new arrivals," Mr Dutton told ABC radio on Monday.

Government legislation for the visa ban is facing defeat in the Senate after Labor and the Greens expressed opposition to the move.

Australia faced the threat of increased people-smuggler traffic during the next three or four months, Mr Dutton said.

"If we have new boat arrivals and that jeopardises any arrangement we've got with any third country - and that's why the legislation is even more compelling this week than it was even last week."

Mr Dutton defended the lack of detail around the deal with the US and didn't confirm how many of the 1600 people on Nauru would be resettled.

Nor would he reveal which other countries were involved in resettlement negotiations with Australia.

"We've released as much detail as we can," Mr Dutton said.

"We're not signalling our punches to people smugglers, that's at the core here."

Mr Dutton hopes the 500 or so detainees on Manus who have refused to co-operate so far with authorities might have a change of mind in light of the US deal.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said the government hadn't made the case for the visa ban was playing politics with the issue.

"Our best information is that the Americans aren't putting on the table a requirement that you have this sort of lifetime visa ban," he told reporters in regional Victoria.

"If the government has evidence to the contrary, we will sit down and look at it it."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon