Peter Dutton has just agreed to close down Manus Island, but the question remains, does this change anything? And where will those on Manus be settled?
Alongside the PNG PM Peter O’Neill, Peter Dutton agreed to shut down the Manus Island detention centre, the sounds around the internet are unanimous – great, protesting and the regaling the positives about the leaking of documents. As the gates on Manus are set to be closed, the timeline for that padlocking is unknown, as is the fate of the 854 asylum seekers that still stand on Manus.
While the PNG High Court ruling may have answered the question of What to with a problem called Manus?, that solitary question has birthed a litter of seemingly smaller problems – problems which still need to be fed. Where are they going now? Who will pay for the relocation? When will this ruling be enacted?
One thing for sure though, those on Manus will not be settled on our shores, with Peter Dutton releasing the statement below.
— Karen Barlow (@KJBar) August 17, 2016
While this decision is the correct one, turning the lights off on Manus does not change policy. Today may well represent the first battle won, or business as usual, as we may just have a new obscure location name to learn in protest.