Australian Embassy


160.13 - 24 August 2013

Second families transferred to Nauru under the regional settlement arrangement

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship today confirmed the second transfer of family groups under the Regional Settlement Arrangement (RSA) to the regional processing centre in Nauru.

The charter flight, with the second group of 12 adults and 11 children – consisting of Lebanese, Iranian and Afghan nationalities – escorted by the Australian Federal Police, DIAC staff, interpreters and medical staff, departed Christmas Island at about 7:30pm yesterday local time.

The group arrived in Nauru at 1 pm local time where they will be accommodated while their claims are processed by the Nauru Government. Appropriate accommodation is in place at a separate site to other cohorts residing in Nauru.

A spokesman for the department said the second transfer of a family group under the RSA confirmed that everyone who arrives after July 19 will be transferred to a regional processing centre once health checks are complete, and appropriate accommodation and service are available.

“This latest transfer to Nauru sends the clearest possible message that coming to Australia by boat is not the way to gain Australian residency, and children or family groups will not be exempted from transfer,” the spokesman said.

“Exempting them would simply encourage people smugglers to put children on boats to Australia.”

Under the RSA, anyone – including unaccompanied minors – who seeks to bypass proper migration pathways and instead pay people smugglers for a boat trip to Australia, will be liable for transfer to a regional processing country.

The spokesman said there is no cap on the number of people who can be transferred to a regional processing centre and transfers will continue on a regular basis.

“If people are paying thousands and thousands of dollars to a people smuggler, they are buying a ticket to a country other than Australia. Coming to Australia by boat is not the way to gain Australian residency.”

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