Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

Australian authorities destroy makeshift shelters on Manus Island

Australian authorities destroy makeshift shelters on Manus Island

Four hundred and twenty-one refugees and asylum seekers holed up in the Manus Island detention centre have been told by Papua New Guinea's government they must leave on Monday or face forcible eviction, as another legal challenge goes to court, and worldwide pressure continues to mount on Australia to intervene.

Hundreds of migrants who attempted to reach Australia defied a Monday deadline to leave a decommissioned immigration camp on Papua New Guinea, where many hold out hope of starting new lives in the United States, police said.

"For the mean time, the PNG and Australia government should supply food, water, electricity and medicines to the refugees and asylum seekers".

"The Australian government, as a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, is responsible for these refugees, regardless of how they entered Australian territory to seek asylum". The government argue that it deters asylum seekers from attempting a perilous sea voyage to Australia.

Ms Ardern has continued to push New Zealand's offer to accept 150 refugees and asylum seekers from Australia's offshore detention centres since her first face-to-face meeting with her Australian counterpart in Sydney a week ago. "If these people are taken in by New Zealand it will effectively be a back door into Australia", he said in a reference to the 1000 asylum seekers who died while travelling by boat to Australia between 2007 and 2013.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says refugees on Manus Island will be her sole focus when she meets with Malcolm Turnbull again this week.

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Government frontbencher Matt Canavan criticised the genuineness of the offer.

"I see the human face of this issue".

"We made the offer because we saw a great need".

"We see that we have a role to play here, we're very eager to play that role and as I say I'll be having another conversation with the Prime Minister in the Philippines". "I think it's clear that we don't see what's happening there as acceptable, that's why the offer's there".

Newshub has been briefed on the deal and can reveal that Ms Ardern is happy for Australia to place an order on any refugees that they can never travel there.

But by the end of the day in Australia it was unclear what steps authorities would take next.

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