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Monday, 16 September 2002
Page: 6354

Ms Gillard asked the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 19 August 2002:

(1) Has the Government been negotiating with Christmas Island Phosphates (CIP) over the land for the detention centre.

(2) Is it a fact that CIP holds the lease for the land where the centre is to be constructed and CIP wants massive compensation.

(3) Can the Government guarantee the construction of the detention centre at Christmas Island will be delivered on budget.

(4) Has the Government been advised that the budgeted $219 million is insufficient, if so, what are the causes of the cost overrun.

(5) Has an agreement between CIP and the Government been finalised, if so, what is its content.

Mr Ruddock (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) Christmas Island Phosphates did hold a mining lease over the land on which the detention centre is to be constructed. The land has been resumed in accordance with the provisions of the lease and arbitration proceedings have commenced to determine compensation.

(3) and (4) Costings are not available because there is not an approved design.

(5) No, arbitration proceedings are underway.