Additional immigration detention accommodation
Friday, 17 September 2010
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, today announced that additional immigration detainee accommodation will be prepared for families and unaccompanied minors in Melbourne, and for single adult men in northern Queensland and in Western Australia.
The identification of sites for additional accommodation followed investigation by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship of a range of options around Australia, Mr Bowen said.
‘Since becoming Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, I’ve received the most up-to-date advice about accommodation requirements,’ the minister said.
‘As I mentioned earlier this week, existing facilities are operating at capacity and there is a need for more beds to be made available until outstanding applications can be finalised.’
Arrangements are being made to expand the use of the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation for families and children in the short to medium term.
Scherger Airforce Base (near Weipa in Queensland) will also be adapted to accommodate up to 300 single adult men in the immediate term. Scherger will only be used until the individuals moved there can be relocated to more permanent locations.
Additionally, capacity at the existing Curtin Immigration Detention Centre will be expanded in coming months, allowing for up to 1200 single adult men to be housed there.
Support services – including case managers, mental health support teams, medical staff, interpreting services and education staff – will be available at all three locations.
‘These arrangements are required as a matter of priority to ease the pressure on existing facilities,’ Mr Bowen said.
‘In coming weeks, I will be reviewing the longer-term detention accommodation needs and taking steps to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place to meet ongoing and longer-term requirements.’
Last update: Monday, 13 December 2010 at 12:50 AEST