Australia refuses New Zealand offer on refugees

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after a visit to Borough Market in central London

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

That decision comes as almost 600 refugees and asylum seekers, who are cut off from food, water, and medical supplies, remain barricaded inside a now-closed detention centre over fears for their safety.

Turnbull said he would not, at this time, take up the offer from his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern.

The group says they are afraid of being attacked by locals if they leave.

"I'm no kayaker or paddle boarder but I can fish so I welcome you to New Zealand the next opportunity you are able to join us".

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".

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten U-turned on Labor's stance on Friday, saying the plan had similarities to the United States resettlement deal to take 1250 people.

So far, 54 refugees have been resettled in the US.

Turnbull noted that he had shelved the offer in part due to prioritising dealings with the United States - which may settle up to 1250 asylum seekers, if they pass the United States' high vetting standards.

"I have extended the invitation for the Prime Minister, for Malcolm to come and join me with some fishing", she said. "We of course do not have the circumstances that Australia is operating under, but we also can not ignore the human face of what Australia is dealing with as well".

That was dismissed by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, who said Mr Shorten was trying to appease the left of his party with "cheap political stunts and mealy-mouthed words".

The stand-off at the Manus Island detention centre prompted Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to issue a statement on Friday, calling on Mr Turnbull to accept the offer, describing it as not dissimilar to the U.S. deal.

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

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

While the framework of the bill hasn't been released in detail yet, it has been revealed that buying a house in New Zealand will be more expensive and complicated, and that non-Kiwis and speculators looking to buy houses in New Zealand will be required to buy vacant land and build houses themselves.

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