Cameron demands refugee action

SENATOR Doug Cameron, a Left convener, has called for the government to quickly spell out when it will lift the refugee intake to 20,000 and what arrangements it will set up so the Labor caucus can monitor offshore detention sites.

It should also move as soon as possible to deliver on the regional framework that the Houston panel said was vital, he said.

The government had managed to move quickly on all the ''punitive'' aspects of the panel's report, and now needed to undertake the positive measures it had accepted in ''principle'', Senator Cameron said.

Early this week there will be discussions between caucus members and the executive, including Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, on these issues, likely to be further canvassed at tomorrow's caucus.

Ms Gillard was again unable to say yesterday how long people could be left on Nauru and Manus Island but agreed it could be many years.

Ms Gillard said she was not surprised at the latest influx of boats, as the people smugglers ran around ''saying to people: 'move now, get in quick, circumstances are changing'.''

The Immigration Department over the weekend has been gathering film footage on Nauru and Manus Island for confronting videos aimed at discouraging asylum seekers from getting on boats - even though the facilities where boat people would be housed have not yet been built. As the ninth boat arrived since the government announced its new offshore processing policies, a department spokesman confirmed a video producer, part of the reconnaissance team, was collecting video material.

The spokesman said that the department would produce videos titled, ''Australia by boat? No advantage'', aimed at asylum seekers considering coming by boat.

The story Cameron demands refugee action first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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