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« PNG Supreme Court ruling on Manus Island detention centre | Main | The cynical deceits that deny PNG landowners their birthright »

01 May 2016

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"This is an unpopular deal in PNG," Professor Howes said. "I don't think aid is that important for him [O'Neill] to use up political capital to go against the court."

I don't think Peter O'Neill has got any political capital to use up. In fact, I think his political capital is in serious deficit.

But he has got right on his side.

The deal he had with the Australian government was a quick processing of the refugees and then closure of the facility. The government then lost the election and the next lot dithered as normal and it's spun out until now.

When I was on Manus it was abundantly obvious that Transfield and Wilson Security saw the centre as an easy cash cow that they hoped would go on for years. They had no interest in shutting in down quickly. And I don't think the PNG government did either. They planned to milk it for all it was worth too.

Altogether a really dumb idea. The refugees who were sent to Manus and Nauru could have been quickly processed on Christmas Island and then sent off to third party places, even New Zealand.

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