ANNA BURKE, federal member for the Victorian seat of Chisholm, says the move is a return to the policies of John Howard’s government.
“I personally think Manus Island is basically going back to something we said we wouldn’t do, which is the Pacific Solution,” she told the ABC on Monday.
PNG’s new government has approved the re-opening of the Manus Island facility, which was mothballed by Kevin Rudd’s government.
Ms Burke has previously also criticised the government’s controversial asylum seeker deal with Malaysia. She says her concerns have not been assuaged.
“I am concerned that we can’t really guarantee the safety of the 800 people,” she said.
“That is my personal concern and I have expressed that in caucus.”
Ms Burke called for a “more rational debate” about asylum seekers.
Under the swap deal, the government will send 800 asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat to Malaysia in exchange for 4000 already-processed refugees.