By Nic Maclellan

Australia and Papua New Guinea have announced the closure of Canberra’s offshore refugee processing program by the end of this year, leaving responsibility for the remaining asylum seekers and refugees to Port Moresby. At the same time, Nauru will now take on “enduring” responsibility for Australia’s offshore program.

The decision comes twenty years after the so-called “Pacific Solution” was first established. During the 2001 Tampa crisis, Prime Minister John Howard desperately sought locations in the Pacific to establish offshore refugee processing centres. Fiji, Tuvalu, Palau, and Kiribati were approached by Australian diplomats, but all refused to play along. Even Timor-Leste was considered as a site for camps, even . . .

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