A group of 15 failed Vietnamese asylum seekers have been returned to Vietnam.
A spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship said this first group of Vietnamese had departed Australia's Manus Island regional processing centre.
The spokesman said Australia would continue to return people to their home countries who did not engage its protection obligations.
This came as the government announced regional processing arrangements would be significantly expanded to ensure unauthorised maritime arrivals to Australia were transferred to Papua New Guinea, where their protection claims will be assessed, he said.
If recognised as refugees, they will be settled in PNG, he said.
"This makes it crystal clear that those who pay smugglers are throwing their money away and risking their lives in the process," the spokesman said in a statement.