Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (left), and Health Minister, Peter Dutton, answer a question at a press conference in Sydney on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. The Commonwealth Government will increase Australia's $18 million contribution to the response to Ebola in West Africa and strengthen preparations to detect and respond to a possible Ebola case in Australia.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (left), and Health Minister, Peter Dutton, answer a question at a press conference in Sydney on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. The Commonwealth Government will increase Australia's $18 million contribution to the response to Ebola in West Africa and strengthen preparations to detect and respond to a possible Ebola case in Australia. AAP Image - Paul Miller

Dutton defends cost of Cambodia program

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has rejected claims the Federal Government's Cambodian refugee settlement program has spent all of the $55 million allocated to it.

Mr Dutton's comment came after Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan described the program as a failure.

Mr Phay Siphan also said his country did not have enough social resources to support refugees from Nauru, who must volunteer to be moved to the impoverished south-east Asian nation.

Only two of the five refugees who have opted to join the Cambodia project remain there.

The others decided to return to their countries of origin.

"Nobody has been paid $55 million," Mr Dutton told ABC Radio.

"We pay as people go across to Cambodia."

Mr Dutton said the government had spent in the "low" millions of dollars on the Cambodian program.



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