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Australia spends £29 million on 'dud' deal to resettle just two refugees - Khmer News - Explore Angkor Wat

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Australia spends £29 million on 'dud' deal to resettle just two refugees

Damaged accommodation blocks are seen after riots at the Australian detention and processing centre on the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru  Photo: REUTERS Richard Marles, an opposition MP, said the deal had been a dud and the amount of money spent on resettling one or two people was “ridiculous”. “The idea that £29 million [$AUS55 million] being spent on trying to build some kind of resettlement capacity in Cambodia … represents value for the public’s spend is absolutely ridiculous,” he told Sky News. “It has been an expensive joke and it was that from the day it was first mooted.” But the deal was defended by Peter Dutton, the immigration minister, who insisted he would continue to try to promote it. He has previously rejected an offer from New Zealand to take 150 refugees from Nauru, saying this would encourage people smugglers. Referring to the resettlement of just two refugees at about £15 million a head, he said: “I think that is a pretty good outcome.” The barren and bankrupt island state of the Republic of Nauru   Photo: EPA “We have been very clear about the fact if you come to Australia by boat you will never settle here,” he said. Australia deports all asylum seekers who arrive by boat to Nauru or Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. The United Nations and human rights groups have criticised the practice as unlawful, cruel and inhumane. Numerous refugees in Nauru have allegedly been assaulted and raped. Australia has insisted its harsh policy was necessary to crush the people smuggling trade and end deaths at sea. In the past three years, the measures have brought an effective end to the flow of asylum seekers arriving by boat on a perilous voyage via Indonesia. Explore Angkor Wat