Australian state ruler is ready to accept some asylum seekers

Australian state ruler is ready to accept some asylum seekersColin Barnett, the premier of Western Australia State and also a member of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's Liberal Party, claimed that his state could house refugees from Australian-funded detention centres.

The concerns continue to rise after Australia and Papua New Guinea said on Wednesday that they would close the Manus Island detention facility. The complication is that under Australian law, anyone intercepted trying to reach the country by boat is sent for processing to asylum seeker camps on the tiny Pacific island of Nauru or to Manus Island off Papua New Guinea. They are never eligible to be resettled in Australia.

Australian government’s position on the issue remains the same as Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton on Thursday confirmed refugees should be settled in a third country.

Read also: "Australia will close controversial refugee detention center"

As the fate of 850 refugees from Manus and 500 from Nauru remains unclear, Western Australian Premier told the Australian Broadcasting Corp on Wednesday night he is willing to help.

"We would certainly accommodate a number of them in Western Australia and we'd certainly support them as a state government," Barnett said.

Barnett has taken a similar position in the past, and his stand demonstrated a rare public split in the conservative Liberal Party over the government's controversial detention policy.

On Thursday a spokeswoman for New Zealand Prime Minister John Key also said her word. She confirmed that an offer made in 2013 to accept 150 refugees, which Canberra has rebuffed, still stood.

But all the talks are only about Manus detention refugees as there are no plans to close the Nauru camp.
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