Asylum seekers at the Oscar compound in the Manus Island detention centre, Papua New Guinea in 2014. Picture: AAP Image/Eoin Blackwell.
Asylum seekers at the Oscar compound in the Manus Island detention centre, Papua New Guinea in 2014. Picture: AAP Image/Eoin Blackwell.

Manus Island compo: Judge approves $70m for 1400 detainees

A JUDGE has approved the $70 million compensation payout for at least 1400 current and former Manus Island detainees.

Victorian Supreme Court Justice Cameron Macaulay this morning said he has approved the settlement reached with the Australian government and operators of the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre.

Lawyers hope to be able to get $70 million in compensation paid to current and former Manus Island detainees before the offshore immigration detention centre closes at the end of October.

By Monday, 1383 of the 1923 group members in the class action had registered to get their share of the compensation.

More than 160 of the almost 800 men who remain on Manus ahead of the offshore immigration detention centre's closure next month raised objections with the court.

The independent counsel appointed to assist the court, Michael Rush, said 145 of the 164 objectors have registered to participate in the settlement should it be approved.

Mr Rush said the objections included that the overall sum of $70 million is too low and the settlement does not resolve the ongoing plight of the group members who remain on Manus Island or whose claims for refugee status are still to be determined.

Lawyers still hope to be able to get $70 million in compensation paid to current and former Manus Island detainees before the centre closes at the end of October.

No money can be paid until the end of a 28-day appeal period, which will begin if Justice Macaulay approves the settlement on Wednesday.

During that period, further attempts would also be made to reach the 215 group members who have not been able to be contacted about the settlement, with the deadline for registrations expected to be pushed back a couple of weeks to October 13.

News Corp Australia


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