Coalition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison will travel to Nauru and Manus Island next week to inspect the asylum seekers processing centres there ''first hand''.
Mr Morrison said he wrote to Immigration Minister Chris Bowen on Monday night, telling him he wanted to see the progress on Australia's moves to re-establish offshore processing. Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday he had made private arrangements to visit the islands and see how ''things playing out on the ground''.
He said that he had asked Mr Bowen months ago to help him visit Nauru and Papua New Guinea but had been knocked back.
Yesterday, Mr Morrison spoke with Amnesty International refugee coordinator Graham Thom. This follows Amnesty visits to Nauru last week, when it raised serious concerns about the conditions and health of detainees, who are currently housed in tents [LINK].
Mr Morrison said he was concerned about the delays in setting up permanent facilities.
''Its not quite clear whose running the show,'' he said.
He noted that while it was ''part of the point'' that people did not want to be on Nauru or Manus Island - given offshore processing is meant to be a deterrent - ''we need to ensure that the facilities that are in place in Nauru are appropriate''.
This week, the Coalition is due to introduce a private members bill to re-introduce temporary protection visas. Mr Morrison said he had lodged the notice of motion yesterday and that the bill would be considered sometime over the next three days.
Ahead of Coalition party room meetings this morning, he dismissed concerns raised by some Liberal backbenchers over the move.
''They've been raising [these concerns] for over a decade,'' Mr Morrison said.
Labor’s caucus meeting is also expected to be heated this morning, after members of the Left faction expressed unhappiness about the government’s moves to put post-August 13 boat arrivals who have to be processed on shore on bridging visas without work rights for up to five years.
This comes as parliamentary debate begins on the government’s move to excise the Australian mainland from the migration zone.
Last month, Labor introduced legislation into the lower house that if successful, would mean the very small number of asylum seekers who reach the mainland by boat would be processed offshore.