Gillian Triggs, the former head of the Australian Human Rights Commission, has called the government's treatment of Manus Island detainees "inhumane", insisting the men be brought to Australia, Nine News reports.
The last of about 300 men refusing to leave the now-closed detention facility were forcibly removed nearly two weeks ago, ending a tense three-week stand-off and joined hundreds of others already moved to alternative accommodation sites.
"We really do have to come to terms with the fact that we need to bring them home, we need to bring them to Australia," Ms Triggs told ABC's Q&A program last night.
"The inhumanity has reached a level where as a nation we have to respond ... it's not Australian and we're seriously in breach of our international obligations."
Humanitarian agencies have warned Australia's political leaders the refugees and asylum seekers are at grave risk of an impending mental crisis.
The warning comes after the advocates returned from a week in Papua New Guinea and delivered a bleak assessment about the "most insidious and deep impact" indefinite detention is having on about 600 men.
Labor Senator Lisa Singh called it a "human rights catastrophe" and urged the government to take up New Zealand's offer to home 150 refugees.
Meanwhile, SBS News reports the Turnbull government lost a vote on the floor of parliament yesterday when cabinet minister Steven Ciobo and Liberal veteran Warren Entsch failed to turn up for a division on a Greens motion calling on the government to accept New Zealand's offer to resettle 150 refugees.
With Labor and the crossbench supporting the move, it got up 73-72.
Christopher Pyne, responsible for government business, successfully asked for another vote , but not till after Mr Ciobo and Mr Entsch explained themselves.
"I want to apologise for missing the vote," Mr Ciobo said. "I was unfortunately detained and so wasn't able to get here in time."
Mr Entsch, who not long earlier was being interviewed on Sky News, also apologised.
"It was certainly misadventure in missing the vote," he said.
NZ 'amazing' to refugees (Otago Daily Times)