In March 2014, asylum seekers stare at media from behind a fence at the Oscar compound in the Manus Island detention centre, Papua New Guinea.
In March 2014, asylum seekers stare at media from behind a fence at the Oscar compound in the Manus Island detention centre, Papua New Guinea. EOIN BLACKWELL

Govt agrees to $70m deal to dodge scrutiny of Manus

MANUS Island detainees had a win when Victoria's Supreme Court approved a deal for compensation.

However, the deal was also a big win for the Commonwealth because it avoided testing what the refugees' lawyer called "this fiction the Commonwealth seeks to maintain for political purposes that it's PNG that holds these people, that PNG has the duty of care for these people".

Rory Walsh said "We sued the Commonwealth of Australia and their subcontractors and we said 'You've got a duty of care'. The Commonwealth settled this and paid $70 million not to have that fiction tested in court. We think ... the Commonwealth has a duty to these people and ought to discharge that duty by treating them fairly."

It covers 1300 people who were illegally detained in 2012- 2016 and for negligence in how the Government housed and "protected" them.



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