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Dozens of refugee children and their families set to be transferred from the tiny island of Nauru won't be allowed to permanently settle in Australia, the country's Home Minister Peter Dutton said Thursday.

The Morrison government has indicated it plans to get all children off Nauru by Christmas this year.

Earlier, former attorney general George Brandis, now Australia's high commissioner to Britain, said in an interview with LBC radio in London that the government would remove the children within weeks.

But the government has been "quietly" transferring children off Nauru, amid a public outcry and mounting concerns for their welfare.

"It's the policy of both Liberal and Labor that if a boat arrives tomorrow, including with children, they will be going directly to Nauru", he said.

"I mean, 79 per cent". It crosses all party lines, and I don't think the government had any choice but to take it seriously.

According to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, the 41 families moved to Australia included eight who were moved by court order, 21 under concessions made after legal intervention, and 12 moved at the initiative of Australian Border Force.

Dutton says people who pose a security risk will not be allowed into the Australian community, even if their child is being treated.

"It is good news that the children will be taken off Nauru, something the sector has been calling on for many years".

The report, released today, says Australia is "not making sufficient progress" with its policies to support disadvantaged children.

"The condition of the children has been pretty shocking", Favero said.

"We talk about a fair chance for our children, but one in five is starting school developmentally vulnerable, one in six is living in poverty, one in seven has experienced a mental disorder, an youth suicide is the leading and increasing cause of death among children and young people today".

Whilst this is no doubt wonderful news and another step towards dismantling the horrific offshore processing policies of previous and current Australian governments, given the fact it has come directly after the shock Wentworth by-election and amidst plunging support for the coalition it's hard to erase the political football-ery so transparently at work.

It said the proposal, which was actually introduced to parliament two years ago but failed to pass, would shut the "back door" into Australia.

New Zealand has offered to resettle 150 adult asylum seekers on Nauru but Morrison and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton have said they would only accept the offer if those refugees are banned from ever entering Australia on any grounds.

This photograph taken on September 2, 2018 shows a twelve-year old Iranian refugee girl, who had attempted to self-immolate herself with petrol, resting in a bed at refugee Camp Five on the Pacific island of Nauru. "Australia's policy has traumatised children so much that they are giving up eating and trying to kill themselves".