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Tuesday, 8 February 2005
Page: 237


Senator O’Brien asked the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 23 December 2004:

(1) (a)   How many persons are detained at the temporary Immigration Reception and Processing Centre (IRPC) on Christmas Island; and (b) how many of those persons are : (i) female adults, (ii) male adults, (iii) female children, and (iv) male children.

(2)   In relation to each child: (a) how long have they been held at the temporary IRPC on Christmas Island; and (b) are they accompanied by both parents, one parent or unaccompanied.

(3)   Will the Minister provide a breakdown of claimed nationalities for detainees held at the temporary IRPC on Christmas Island.

(4)   What is the current cost per day of detaining a person at the temporary IRPC on Christmas Island.

(5)   On what dates has the Immigration Detention Advisory Group visited the temporary IRPC on Christmas Island.

(6)   On what dates has the Minister visited the temporary IRPC on Christmas Island.

(7) (a)   Is the Minister aware that the Department of Finance and Administration has described the temporary IRPC on Christmas Island as inadequate in terms of size, amenity and security; and (b) is the facility still inadequate in terms of size, amenity and security.


Senator Vanstone (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

(1) (a)   As at 6 January 2005, there were 39 persons held in immigration detention at the temporary Immigration Reception and Processing Centre (IRPC) on Christmas Island. (b) The breakdown of those detained is as follows:

(i)  

   11 adult females;

(ii)  

   18 Adult males;

(iii)  

   4 female children; and

(iv)  

   6 male children.

(2) (a)   Nine out of the ten children have been held in immigration detention at the temporary IRPC on Christmas Island since 1 July 2003. The tenth child was born in Perth in February 2004, and went to the IRPC when the mother returned to the centre. (b) Six out of the ten children are accompanied by both parents. Four children are accompanied by one parent.

(3)   All persons detained at the temporary IRPC on Christmas Island IRPC are Vietnamese nationals.

(4)   The average cost per detainee day on the temporary IRPC on Christmas Island for the current financial year to date is $358. The costs include payments made under the contract for managing the detention centres as well as departmental expenses such as those for employees, travel, motor vehicles, telephones, interpreting costs and other administrative costs.

(5)   IDAG Members last visited the facility on 26 September 2003. A further IDAG visit was scheduled for 26 November 2004, however, this trip was aborted due to a problem with the aircraft en-route. This visit has been re-scheduled for early 2005.

(6)   I have not yet visited the temporary IRPC on Christmas Island.

(7) (a)   and (b) The facility is adequate for accommodating its current population. The Government has engaged Boulderstone Hornibrook to construct a purpose built detention facility with a capacity of 800 persons.