PNG Prime Minister visits Manus Island

PNG Prime Minister visits Manus Island

PNG Prime Minister visits Manus Island

Updated 25 January 2013, 9:53 AEST

Papua New Guinea's PM has by-passed an opportunity to visit Australia's controversial immigration detention centre.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, has made the briefest of visits to the Australian government's processing centre for asylum seekers on Manus Island.

He flew to Manus as part of a plan to visit every one of the country's 22 provinces.

While there, he drove out to the Lombrum naval base, where the processing centre is located.

Mr O'Neill drove past without getting out of his car.

Asylum-seekers inside the centre waved as he drove by.

Later at a community gathering in the capital, Lorengau, Mr O'Neill told a crowd of several thousand he wanted the processing centre to be a permanent facility.

He thanked the local land owners for hosting it and welcomed the Australian government's commitment to fix the island's hospital, roads and schools.