Julia Gillard has defended an agreement with New Zealand to take refugees from Australian detention centres, dismissing suggestions it will act as an incentive for asylum seekers by undermining the no-advantage test.
The Prime Minister cast the deal as part of regional solution to people smuggling, saying this is a regional problem and the more you co-operate, the more you do together, the better it is.
The agreement, announced after bilateral talks with her New Zealand counterpart John Key, will see 150 refugees resettled each year from 2014.
Refugee advocates have attacked the agreement as likely to force more asylum seekers to risk the boat journey to Australia, while the opposition claims it contradicted the government's own no-advantage test.
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young says it's a bandaid, and Opposition Immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says the prime minister can't have a no-advantage and then be saying to people on Nauru you'll be going to New Zealand.