Exclusive: Drone footage of the Manus Island transit centres


Drone footage by SBS News shows construction machinery still on site at the two transit centres built to receive refugees from the former Australian detention centre.

The Australia government has repeatedly asserted all three transit facilities are ready to receive the refugees.

However, aerial footage captured via a drone shows a largely barren site.

It has been more than two weeks since the Manus Island detention centre was decommissioned. There's about 400 refugees refusing to be leave, citing security reasons in the transit centres as the main reason.  

Refugees protesting at the Manus Island immigration detention centre in Papua New Guinea.
Refugees protesting at the Manus Island immigration detention centre in Papua New Guinea.

Some refugees who are already on the site have posted videos in recent days showing there's no running water or power in some of the facilities.

The UNHCR has also inspected the site and said the same. 

It has cost the Australian taxpayer reportedly more than $30 million to build the alternative accommodation.

Manus Province Police Commander David Yapu told SBS News that the two disputed sites have power and water connected but has confirmed that security fencing is not complete.

“The question of fencing, yes those fences are not appropriate. We recommend for a similar type of fence that was erected at the [detention] centre, and the contractor will be looking at that to install new fences around the buildings."

Commander Yapu also told SBS News that police would not use force to remove the refugees because it would be a breach of human rights.

'Waste of money': Dutton criticises NZ's Manus funding

New Zealand is increasing pressure on Australia over its offer to accept 150 of the refugees from Manus and Nauru, as conditions worsen at the now closed detention centre.

This week, New Zealand announced it would also hand over $2.7 million to Papua new Guinea for services on Manus Island.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton remained firmly opposed to allowing refugees to go to New Zealand and described the funding offer as a "waste of money".

"I mean give that money to another environment somewhere, to Indonesia for example," he told Sky News.

"It's an issue for New Zealand where they spend their money, but from my perspective we want to get people off Manus and have the processing centre closed."


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