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Aussie and NZ discuss asylum seeker initiative

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
John Key
John Key

Wellington, July 6 NZPA - Prime Minister John Key has been discussing the prospect of setting up a "regional processing centre" in the Pacific where asylum seekers would be sent for processing.

New Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard today announced steps her government planned to take to address the problem of "boat people" heading illegally to Australia from politically strained countries such as Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

She said Australia needed to clamp down hard on the people smugglers often responsible for shipping refugees to Australia with false promises, while at the same time showing some compassion for those who landed there with legitimate refugee claims.

Ms Gillard said she had last night discussed with Mr Key and East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta the prospect of setting up a regional processing centre in the Pacific where any intercepted boats or asylum seekers would be sent.

She said Mr Key had indicated the New Zealand Government would give constructive consideration to the processing centre initiative.

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