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Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Page: 8517

Immigration Detention Centres

(Question No. 434)


Mr Morrison asked the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, in writing, on 20 June 2011:

(1) Which immigration detention facilities (a) have active X-ray scanners, and when were they installed, and (b) do not have X-ray scanners, and why not.

(2) Are X-ray scanners used to scan all items brought into immigration detention centres; if not why not, and which items are subject to X-ray scanning.

(3) Do official protocols exist to govern the use of X-ray scanners at detention facilitates; if not, why not; if so, will he provide a copy.


Mr Bowen: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) All Immigration Detention Centres (IDC), with the exception of Scherger IDC, have X-ray scanners installed. X-ray scanners were installed at most IDCs in 2006. The X-ray scanner at Christmas Island IDC was installed in 2007 and at Curtin IDC in 2011.

An X-ray scanner will be installed at Scherger IDC in the near future.

Alternative Places of Detention (APOD) do not have X-ray scanners as they are considered low-risk facilities. Goods entering APODs are manually inspected.

(2) X-ray scanners are used to scan all items brought into IDCs. This includes items brought into the centre by staff and visitors, mail and commercial deliveries such as food.

If items are too large to fit through the X-ray scanner they are manually inspected and scanned with a hand held metal detector.

(3) Official protocols do exist to govern the use of X-ray scanners at detention facilities. These are:

Ministerial Direction No. 20 - Powers concerning the entry of visitors to immigration detention centres (Attachment A) can be obtained from the House of Representatives Table Office.

Ministerial Direction No. 26 - Screening procedures in relation to immigration detainees (Attachment B) can be obtained from the House of Representatives Table Office.

Detention Services Manual, PAM 3 - Chapter 4 - Communication and visits - Screening and inspection powers: Entry to immigration detention centres (Attachment C) can be obtained from the House of Representatives Table Office.

Detention Services Manual, PAM 3 - Chapter 8 - Safety and security - Screening of persons in immigration detention (Attachment D) can be obtained from the House of Representatives Table Office.