Court: Alternate accommodation provided for refugees

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<p>PNG’s Supreme Court today said this when refusing to grant an application by Beehrouz Boochani, seeking interim orders for the restoration of services at the now decommissioned Australian run regional processing center in Lombrum.</p>

<p>Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, said Australia’s legal responsibility over the future welfare of the Asylum Seekers, ended with the closure of the center.</p>

<p>All refugees and Asylum seekers, left in the country are now the responsibility of the PNG Government.</p>

<p>“The PNG Government is duty bound to take all necessary steps, under its obligation under the Migration Act, and its obligation under International&nbsp;law, to cater for the future welfare and destiny of the Asylum seekers.</p>

<p>The court also made preliminary findings into the application by Boochani and said Australia’s involvement in terms of any assistance remains purely a moral responsibility.</p>

<p>&nbsp;“The PNG Government, accepted full responsibility in the first place, to accept these Asylum Seekers to enter PNG and it is duty bound under domestic and international law to complete the task in settling their future appropriately in accordance with the law,” Sir Salamo said.</p>

<p>He said there is little to no advantage to be gained by any Asylum seeker on insisting on remaining at Lombrum because Australia’s involvement in marinating the center has ceased.</p>

<p>“The government of PNG with the assistance of the Australian government, have provided alternate accommodation outside the former Regional Processing Center, that allows for free movement and access by the Asylum seekers.</p>

<p>“The services provided are of good standard and that the allowance paid to the Asylum Seekers are sufficient for their daily sustenance.</p>

<p>“There is no real good reason why they should not voluntarily move to those new facilities,” Sir Salamo said.</p>

<p>He said the closure of the center is under compulsion of a Supreme court order and the Asylum seekers are required to vacate and move into the new facilities.</p>

<p>“It is in the applicant’s (Boochani’s) own interest that he leaves the closed facility and move into the East Lorengau or Hillside transit center because he has been granted refugee status.”</p>

<p>The court however said Boochani’s remedy lies in damages.</p>

<p>Human Rights Ben Lomai said he will study the ruling today and decide on the possibility of filing an appeal.</p>