Curtin to hold suspended asylum seekers
Sunday, 18 April 2010
The government announced today that the RAAF Base Curtin facility will be used to accommodate asylum seekers who are subject to the current suspension.
Work will commence immediately to have the Curtin facility readied as an immigration detention centre. The facility is located 40 kilometres south-east of Derby in Western Australia.
'The Curtin facility will be used to accommodate single males who are subject to the government's decision to suspend the processing of asylum applications from Sri Lankans and Afghans,' Senator Evans said.
'I expect the centre to be operational following completion of the initial upgrade.
'It makes sense for the government to manage this group of asylum seekers in one secure location and the facility is well placed to provide this accommodation.'
Senator Evans said the first group of asylum seekers subject to the suspension would be moved to the Curtin facility when it was operational.
'Upon arrival at Christmas Island, people subject to the suspension will be informed about the government's policy,' Senator Evans said.
'These people will receive appropriate health, identity and security checks at Christmas Island and when deemed fit for travel they will transferred to the Curtin facility for the duration of the processing suspension.
'I have instructed my department to ensure that appropriate support services are available to all those who are subject to the suspension. We will not leave people isolated and we will invest in upgrading the facilities so they are suitable for this group.'
Senator Evans also announced measures to ease congestion at the Christmas Island immigration facilities.
'In the coming weeks we expect to transfer more people from Christmas Island to alternative immigration facilities,' Senator Evans said.
'The transfer of irregular maritime arrivals does not change their legal status or give them access to onshore processing arrangements or legal avenues of appeal.
'Charter flights will begin to move single men, all of whom are currently in the final stages of a positive pathway, to the Northern Immigration Detention Centre in Darwin.
'The Northern Immigration Detention Centre is a purpose-built, secure immigration detention centre established by the Howard government in 2001 as a contingency facility for a surge in boat arrivals.'
The government has consistently stated that the Northern Immigration Detention Centre would be used as a contingency facility if that was required.
A group of unaccompanied minors will also be transferred to the Port Augusta immigration facility.
'The relocation of unaccompanied minors is routine and reflects our commitment to ensuring that children and, where possible, their accompanying family members, will not be detained in Immigration detention centres,' Senator Evans said.
'These arrangements reflect the government's prudent and responsible approach to managing irregular maritime arrivals.'
Last update: 19 April 2010 at 16:55 AEST