Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she will take seriously advice from an expert panel looking at the asylum seeker issue, even if it recommends dumping her government's Malaysian people swap deal.
Gillard last week established the panel - made up of former defence chief Angus Houston, former top diplomat Michael L'Estrange and refugee advocate Paris Aristotle - to assess all asylum policy options.
It will look closely at the Malaysian deal and the coalition's preferred policies - reopening Nauru, reintroducing temporary protection visas and boat tow-backs - and report back to the government and parliament in August.
Gillard says she will take with "utmost significance" any advice from the panel, even if it calls for the Malaysia deal to be scrapped.
"I wouldn't have done it if I wasn't in the business of taking the greatest regard possible for what they come out with," she told ABC Television on Sunday.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott on Friday said the panellists were all Australians of "great distinction" but that he would be sticking to his policies regardless of the panel's findings.
Gillard says Abbott's position reveals a lot about his "outlook and character".
"What kind of person is it who watches that misery, watches that pain, sees that death, hears the advice from experts and won't change their minds one millimetre?"
"What kind of person does that?"
The parliament last week failed to pass a bill to restore the
government's power to send asylum seekers offshore despite about
100 people dying in twin boat disasters in the past two