Taskforce promotes 'Tasmanian solution'

TASMANIA could be the next offshore processing centre under a revived plan put forward by church and multicultural groups.

The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce will present the ``Tasmania solution'' to the federal government in an effort promote the idea of moving asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru to the state.

The call comes as part of the 2014 Refugee Week.

A forum on the proposition was held at the Anglican Cathedral in Hobart on Thursday, and Bishop John Harrower said he was overwhelmed by the interest from the 100 participants. 

``The taskforce estimates it's costing Australian tax payers $3744 per day for each man, woman and child held in offshore detention centres,'' Bishop Harrower said.

Bishop Harrower said Tasmania could process and house asylum seekers ``more cheaply and more humanely''.

``Tasmania is a place of hospitality and a place of welcome,'' he said.

``We've proved that through our reception of the Kosovas and our uses of the Pontville detention centre,'' he said.

Bishop Harrower said there was a financial argument that instead of the federal government spending more than $4 billion on offshore processing, the money could be spent in Tasmania, and help grow the economy at the same time.

Bass Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic said he did not support the ``Tasmania solution''.

``Australia has a long and proud history of resettling refugees and we rank third in the world as a resettlement country,'' Mr Nikolic said.

``Our policies since the election have stopped people smuggling ventures for almost six months now,'' he said.

Damon Thomas, Bishop John Harrower and Multicultural Council chief executive Anna Reynolds look over the ``Tasmania solution''.

Damon Thomas, Bishop John Harrower and Multicultural Council chief executive Anna Reynolds look over the ``Tasmania solution''.

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