Australian immigration minister Tony Burke inspects Nauru RPC
The Australian Minister for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs
and Citizenship Tony Burke visited Nauru last week (26 July) to
speak with the Nauru Government about the Regional Processing
Centre (RPC) and to inspect the two sites.
Mr Burke was met on arrival at the airport by Nauru's secretary
for Foreign Affairs & Trade Michael Aroi and the acting
Australian High Commissioner Colin Milner.
At the government offices, President Baron Waqa welcomed Mr
Burke to Nauru and thanked him for taking the time to visit Nauru
although under very unfortunate circumstances.
Minister Burke had separate closed door meetings with President
Waqa and Foreign Minister David Adeang.
The context of the meetings however, involved talks on deeper
cooperation between Australia and Nauru and how to deal with the
damage to the Centre and to get it back to where it was prior to
the 19 July riot.
Following those meetings Mr Burke and his delegation were
accompanied to the two sites by President Waqa and Minister
Following a tour of the first camp Mr Burke spent some time to
speak with and thank the Australian staff working at the RPC for
the rapport and depth of work they have committed to the
Minister Burke said the work to process the asylum seekers and
their refugee claims was important.
"The only way to work on the big problem of people smuggling is
through regional cooperation and Nauru has always been in support
of us [Australia] and it is appreciated," Mr Burke said.
"In terms of cooperation and commitment to processing nothing
has changed. We will not have a situation where behavior like that
[of the riot] is rewarded in any way."
President Waqa expressed that Nauru will do its best to assist
Australia with the RPC.
Mr Burke also visited the second site where he spoke with some
The Minister was accompanied by his Deputy Chief of Staff Sean
Halse and DIAC Secretary Martin Bowles. The delegation departed
Nauru the same day, 26 July.