THE policy deadlock over asylum seekers is on the verge of being broken after an expert committee gave the government the green light to put its controversial Malaysia plan on the backburner and push ahead with a harsher version of the Howard government's ''Pacific solution''.
In a win for the opposition and a loss of face for the government, legislation will be introduced today enabling the establishment of detention centres on Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island with no guarantee the Malaysia plan will ever be implemented.
As of 4.45pm yesterday, every asylum seeker arriving by boat risks being sent to one of the new detention camps where, under proposed ''no advantage'' principles, their processing will not be fast-tracked and they will be treated as if in a refugee camp in Indonesia or Malaysia.
They could languish for years and there is no guarantee that if found to be refugees, they will be resettled in Australia.
The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, acknowledged the recommendations were harsh but said there must be no reward for getting on a boat.
Read more at Brisbane Times
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