Aus asked to cancel Paladin contract

Prime Minister James Marape says the Australian government has been officially asked to cancel the Paladin Security contract in Manus and open a tender process.

Marape said the process has begun and is expected to take several weeks.

He made the official statement in Parliament following questions raised by the Opposition regarding the Paladin contract and Supreme Court orders pertaining to the closure of the Regional Processing Centre.

“Our Government has made representation to Australia to cancel this contract and open a tender process. The contract must be fair and transparent, Papua New Guinea companies must have the right to compete for this contract in a fair and open manner,” stated the PM. “In this instance I’ve proposed that Manus-based companies be given fairness to compete.

“The process has started and it will take some weeks to ensure not to disturb continuous service in Manus.”

Meanwhile Prime Minister Marape said after the Supreme Court orders of 26th of April 2016, the processing centre was closed on 31st October 2017, and a manner of relocation and resettlement has been undertaken.

“Around 600 inmates, remaining transferees were relocated to three new accommodation sites in Lorengau Town.

“These men were allowed to move around freely pending settlement in PNG or a third country of return to their home and removal of non-refugees.

“Asylum seekers have since been given the opportunity to move to alternate accommodations.

“Since the Supreme Court decision, all refugees are no longer in detention and are moving freely around. Our government is providing them with opportunities to return to their home country voluntarily, however government reserves the right to retain individuals for the purpose of removal. This is in compliance with the Migration Act and does not contravene the SC ruling.”

He said the Bomana Immigration Centre will house non-refugees.

“The construction of the Bomana Immigration Centre, which will house non-refugees for the purpose of voluntary and involuntary return as they do not have a legal basis to remain, is underway.  This is being provided by the government of Australia through the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority.

“This facility will remain long after the resettlement arrangement used by the Government of PNG,” said Marape.

The Prime Minister said the Supreme Court orders have been fully complied with.


Cedric Patjole