But with key international bodies such as the UN's refugee agency, the UNHCR, .refusing to take part in the renewed offshore scheme, it's still not clear how the
asylum claims will be dealt with.
Speaker: Nicola Roxon, Australia's attorney general
NICOLA ROXON: Well, obviously part of the process is different. The commitments are to make sure that people have their claims assessed under the Refugee Convention. It'll be done by Australian officials. It doesn't mean that every single process that would apply if you're an Australian here in Melbourne or Sydney will be the same if you're an offshore person being processed and we will make those announcements. There are some negotiations that still need to be completed with Nauru.
CHRIS UHLMANN: What does no advantage test mean? You're gonna be applying one; what does it mean?
NICOLA ROXON: Well, Minister Bowen's answered a lot of questions about this and we're trying to make clear the point that if people do risk not just their own lives, but other people's lives in coming to Australia by sea - we unfortunately have seen a lot of deaths at sea as a result of that - that we need to send a clear message that you won't get fast-tracked or some advantage compared to if you stayed in the country you're in and made an application for asylum. Now, that is difficult for people in some ways to understand and very simple proposition in other ways. We don't want that to be a speedy process.
CHRIS UHLMANN: But it would be compared what though, I guess? No advantage compared to be in Malaysia where it might be a five-year stay if you were waiting for resettlement or on the Thai-Burma border where it might be three generations before you get resettled?
NICOLA ROXON: I know. And I mean, the question, I know why you ask it, but it does actually underscore the point which is there are thousands, in fact millions of people waiting to be resettled around the world. Australia has an obligation to assist. We've just announced today, for example, that we're going to assist another thousand people who are now refugees as a result of the conflict in Syria. I think the community wants us to do that and we want to send a clear message: "Do not take a risk to get on a boat. You won't get an advantage from doing that," and we're putting in place the legal requirements that will deliver that.