Turnbull Expected To Reject New Zealand's Lifeline To 150 Manus Refugees

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"We have an arrangement with the United States where a substantial number - 1,250 - can, subject to the U.S. rigours vetting, be resettled in the United States".

Some 600 asylum seekers and refugees have barricaded themselves in the Manus Island complex, which officially closed last Tuesday.

While opposition leader Bill Shorten's Labor predecessors Kevin Rudd and Gillard also declined to accept New Zealand's offer, he spoke in favour of the deal on Friday.

New Labour Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she aimed to have the ban take effect before the wide-ranging Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement is ratified in February.

Speaking to the ABC, Shorten said "Australia is not and must not be a resettlement option but it is [Prime Minister Malcolm] Turnbull's responsibility to work with other nations on resettlement options".

"Whilst it has not been taken up immediately, the Prime Minister thanked New Zealand for the offer, acknowledged it and it is something that still remains in place".

"The government should accept that offer", he said.

Turnbull had said that Australia was pursuing a deal with the USA to take more than 1000 refugees from Australia before he considered other offers.

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The Prime Minister says TPP11 talks are walking a tightrope between signing the deal, and not undermining New Zealand's interests.

He said the statement would be "music to the ears of people smugglers" and that he was making policy on the run.

It comes after a government backbencher broke ranks to support sending refugees to New Zealand to help end the stand-off on Manus Island.

"We have an arrangement with the United States where a substantial number - 1,250 - can, subject to the U.S. rigours vetting, be resettled in the United States".

"The reality is, we have an intractable problem at the present time", he told Sky News.

Mr Andrews said any deal would need to ensure people smugglers were not encouraged to restart unsafe voyages to Australia.

"We are talking about people who have been attacked and assaulted in these camps, where women who have been raped have been denied terminations".

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