It will be several months before an independent investigation into a fatal riot at the Manus Island detention centre will be complete.

Australians are unlikely to discover what happened in a fatal riot at the Manus Island detention centre until an independent investigation ends several months from now.

Robert Cornall, a former secretary of the attorney-general’s department, will investigate Monday night’s riot, in which Iranian man Reza Berati died and 62 asylum seekers were injured.

Mr Cornall has been there before, having undertaken an inquiry into sexual abuse allegations on the island under the previous Labor government.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says the review will take several months, and he isn’t going to speculate in the meantime.

“(But) there are many questions that need to be answered,” he told reporters on Friday.

Mr Morrison said Papua New Guinea police were also investigating the death of Mr Berati, whose body will be returned to his family in Iran.

Mr Berati, 23, arrived at Christmas Island by boat on July 24, 2013, and was transferred to Manus Island on August 27.

His body will be sent to Port Moresby for an autopsy before being sent home.

The terms of reference for the Australian review won’t be released until Monday, but Mr Cornall will look at the entire incident and what improvements can be made to prevent future incidents.

The Refugee Action Coalition is concerned evidence could be lost because security firm G4S is handing control of the detention centre to Transfield Services on Saturday.

But both Transfield Services and G4S have promised to co-operate with the inquiry.

Transfield Services will run the security, building management and welfare services for detention on Manus Island, as well as on Nauru, but AAP understands the immigration department is still in negotiations over the company’s expanded role into PNG.

Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott predicted the flow of asylum seeker boats would be stopped by 2017.

Later, Mr Morrison told reporters there had been no successful people-smuggling ventures to Australia for 64 days.

Meanwhile, a legal bid to stop the deportation of an Australian-born baby of an asylum seeker has reached the High Court.

Ferouz was born in Brisbane in November after his mother, father and two siblings were transferred to Queensland from the Nauru detention centre.

In January, the federal government rejected an application for a protection visa for Ferouz, and the child was classified as an unauthorised maritime arrival, despite being born in Brisbane.

On Friday, lawyers for the family filed documents in the High Court challenging that decision.