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

Labor to support US-Australia refugee deal

AAP logoAAP 11/11/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

Labor would welcome an asylum seeker deal between Australia and the United States, Opposition leader Bill Shorten says.

There are reports Canberra and Washington will soon announce an immigration arrangement that could clear up to 1800 refugees from Nauru and Manus Island.

Mr Shorten supported the idea "in principle" while at a Remembrance Day farewell in Darwin on Friday evening for 400 Anzac diggers about to deploy to the Middle East.

"We obviously need to see the detail but I think that our strong bipartisan commitment to stop the scourge of people smuggling does not mean that people need to be kept in indefinite detention," Mr Shorten said.

"We need strong borders but fair treatment as well."

Defence Minister Marise Payne, who arrived in a tank to send off the soldiers preparing for a six-month deployment in Iraq, was tight-lipped about any refugee negotiations.

"We already have a number of third country resettlement options available for those who are currently on Manus and Nauru. They include Cambodia, they include Papua New Guinea," she said.

"I'm not going to comment any further."

Earlier in the day on ABC radio, she deferred to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton whose office also declined to comment.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese welcomed any prospective agreement.

"These are people who are refugees, who have been found to be refugees, who, if they are settled in a country like the United States, that will be a good thing," he said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon