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Australia to boost refugee intake to 20,000 per year

  • Australia is to increase its intake of refugees to 20,000 a year, from the current 13,750.

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the jump of 45 percent was the biggest increase in 30 years and follows the recommendations made by an expert panel.

    The move come in a bid to discourage asylum seekers from making the dangerous journey to Australia by boat, as the number of arrivals rises.

    Lawmakers also recently approved the re-opening of offshore processing camps for asylum seekers in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

    The increase in Australia's intake and the re-establishment of offshore centers are among 22 proposals put forward by an independent panel on asylum earlier this month.

    The review was commissioned by Gillard due to a government stalemate on the issue.