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24 Jan 2018 6:35
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  •   Home > News > International

    Manus Island: Sewage protesters' road block removed by police

    Police on Manus Island say they have cleared a roadblock by residents outside new asylum seeker accommodation, put in place after sewage was filmed flowing down a nearby hill.

    Police on Manus Island say they have cleared a roadblock by residents outside new asylum seeker accommodation.

    Neighbouring residents blocked access to the West Haus and Hillside Haus compounds yesterday in a protest about leaking sewage.

    Manus Province Police commander David Yapu said police were forced to clear the barricades and allow access to the sites.

    "The locals have no authority to set up road block and hinder service into the area. What transpired yesterday was unacceptable and an illegal road block," he said.

    "Last night I had to use my authority and got my mobile squad into the Hillside and physically removed the road block."

    Chief Inspector Yapu said the sewerage problems were promptly fixed by a contractor.

    The protest was the fourth such blockade of asylum seeker accommodation on Manus Island since the forced relocation of men from the Australian-funded detention centre.

    Chief Inspector Yapu said police would not tolerate further disruption of services to the site.

    "I warned the locals responsible for the road block to refrain from setting the road block in future, because their actions were illegal and unlawful and they could face the full force of the law," he said.

    "This was the National Government Project and services into the area should not be denied but flow smoothly.

    "I have instructed my mobile squad officers to closely monitor the situation and ensure services into the area flow smoothly without any hindrance."

    Sri Lankan refugee Shamindan Kanapadhi yesterday said between 10 and 15 neighbouring residents had barricaded the road and were complaining about the smell of sewage and the fact it overflows onto their land.

    He said protesters hoped to leave the barrier in place until the problem was solved.

    Local residents on Manus confirmed there were ongoing complaints about the site, saying they had previously raised concerns about the noise of the generator and the impact of construction on neighbouring families.

    The Australian Government has previously dismissed claims the sites are unfinished and unsuitable for the large number of men housed within.


    © 2018 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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