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Immigration MOU signed with Northern Territory government



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CHRIS BOWEN MP

MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP

PAUL HENDERSON NORTHERN TERRITORY CHIEF MINISTER

MEDIA RELEASE

12 March 2012

IMMIGRATION MOU SIGNED WITH NORTHERN TERRITORY GOVERNMENT

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, and Northern Territory Chief Minister, Paul Henderson, today welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the provision of policing services and cooperation with the Immigration Department.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed today was developed cooperatively between the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Northern Territory (NT) Police.

The $53 million MoU covers a period of over two years and delivers a significant boost to police numbers in the NT, who will participate in planning for potential emergencies, help investigate offences under NT law, assist with compliance and removal operations, and undertake community engagement around detention facilities.

Mr Bowen said the MoU was an important step in formalising the Federal Government’s ongoing relationship with the NT Government and local authorities around local immigration detention facilities.

“The primary responsibility for ensuring the good order of an immigration detention facility remains with the detention services provider Serco,” Mr Bowen said.

“However, DIAC does work closely with the Australian Federal Police, state and territory law enforcement agencies and Serco to ensure any incident at a detention facility that requires a police response is appropriately managed.”

NT Chief Minister Paul Henderson welcomed the commitment for extra police resources.

“The Northern Territory Government welcomes the signing of this MoU which will add another 94 officers to the Northern Territory Police,” Mr Henderson said.

“It is crucial Northern Territory Police are adequately resourced to ensure the proper management of any incidents at immigration detention facilities in Darwin.

“It’s great news for the people of Darwin that we’ve been able to negotiate a deal which will provide almost 100 more police to respond to detention centre emergencies and be available for general duties.”

DIAC has now signed Memoranda of Understanding with two jurisdictions: the NT Police and Tasmania Police.

The department is actively negotiating with the AFP and remaining state and territory law enforcement agencies to progress their respective MoUs.

Media Contact: Bill Kyriakopoulos 0400 510 802 / Laura Stevens 0432 833 769 (Bowen) Claire March 0403 937 849 (Henderson)