A photo provided by Medecins Sans Frontieres shows the hospital on the island of Nauru. Picture: Medecins Sans Frontieres via AP
A photo provided by Medecins Sans Frontieres shows the hospital on the island of Nauru. Picture: Medecins Sans Frontieres via AP

Refugee mum’s ‘shocking’ act

A SOMALI refugee has poisoned her baby girl with adult medication in a shocking attempt to get the child to Australia, authorities believe.

News Queensland has been told the baby girl was less than a year old and was crying after she drank from her bottle, which was suspected of having the medication, meant for her mother, inside.

She was taken to the Republic of Nauru Hospital late last week and was separated from her mother.

There were 11 children transferred to Australia from Nauru on Monday for medical attention, though it remains unclear if the baby girl was among them.

Three well-placed sources have confirmed details of the sickening claim, but despite the allegations no arrests have been made.

An officer familiar with security on Nauru said there were regular attempts to leave the detention centre for medical reasons, including fake hunger strikes.

"This terrible act is shocking yet not surprising as a wide variety of criminal acts against children have been performed as a means of gaining access to Australia," they said.

The attack comes as Labor sought a compromise deal with the Morrison Government to get the 52 remaining children on Nauru off the island through the proposed New Zealand resettlement offer to accept 150 refugees a year.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said more than 200 children had already been removed from Nauru through quiet action not publicised, and he would continue working on a program with crossbenchers.

"I'm committed to ensuring we can deal with this challenge in terms of the situation with the children and I'm open to every sensible proposal," he said.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said the US had made adverse security assessments for parents of at least 13 children on Nauru.

"(Is Labor) suggesting that we should separate the children from the parents, leave the parents in Nauru but bring the children here?"

Opposition immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann said Labor would agree to the Coalition's proposed "lifetime ban" on the Nauru detainees coming to Australia, but only if "all children and their families" were resettled in New Zealand and the ban only applied to detainees sent to NZ.

"Scott Morrison has talked a big game, but now it's time he comes to the table and accepts the New Zealand offer," Mr Neumann said.

According to Australian Border Force, 52 children remain on Nauru, with 652 adults, 541 of whom have been granted refugee status.

There have been 439 refugees have been removed from Nauru and Manus Island under the US resettlement deal.