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Labor looks at govt asylum seeker ban plan

AAP logoAAP 5/11/2016

Labor says it has not seen any signs that the government is working on a resettlement deal for the asylum seekers in limbo in Nauru and Papua New Guinea as a second part to its planned lifetime visa ban.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says he talks to the prime minister regularly but the government has not been forthcoming on any plans for deals with third countries.

It's been suggested the government wants asylum seekers sent to offshore immigration processing banned from ever entering Australia before it announces a deal to resettle those found to be refugees.

News Corp reports the government is in talks with Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and central American countries.

"We see no signs that the government has got any resettlement plans to conclude," Mr Shorten told ABC TV on Sunday.

"If they are doing that, they should sit down and talk to us."

The opposition is scrutinising draft legislation for the visa ban and is expected to decide its stance at Tuesday's caucus meeting.

Mr Shorten - while not taking an explicit stance - believes the plan is ludicrous and over the top.

"I think I am making very clear what my instinct is," he said.

"The idea you will deter people smugglers by saying a genuine refugee who becomes a citizen of another country couldn't visit Australia in 2056 - it's just ridiculous."

Meanwhile, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says the amount of asylum seekers who voluntarily choose to go home rather than remain on Manus Island or Nauru suggests many are "trying it on".

Almost 670 people have left the offshore immigration centres - most from the single men camp in PNG - and the majority left before their refugee claims were finalised, News Corp reported.

"Australians aren't mugs and neither is this government," Mr Dutton told the outlet.

"We will help genuine refugees but we aren't going to be taken for a ride.''

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