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Minister flies to Christmas Island to deliver press release.



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MEDIA RELEASE

Hon. Warren Snowdon

M.P.

AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Mem ber for the Northern Territory

DARWIN 32 Cavanagh St GPO Box 1596 Darwin 0801 Ph. 08 8942 3830

ALICE SPRINGS Unit 1, Yeperenye Centre PO Box 4007, Alice Springs, NT 0871 Phone: 08-8952 9696 Fax: 08-8952 5922

CANBERRA RG32, Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 02-6277 4520 02-6277 8480

Snowdon homepage: www.ozemail.com.au/~wsnowdon Email: wsnowdon@ozemail.com.au Or: warren.snowdon.mp@aph.gov.au

12 March 2002

Minister Flies to Christmas Island to Deliver Press Release

“Minister for Territories Wilson Tuckey left sittings in Canberra yesterday to fly VIP to Christmas Island to deliver what amounts to a press release.” Member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon said today.

Minister Tuckey flew to Chritsmas Island to tell the community they were to have a permanent immigration detention centre. The detention centre will be built on mining lease 138 near Martin Point on the north west side of the island by agreement with Christmas Island Phosphates.

“Apart from knowing where the facility will be built the community of Christmas Island know very little about the proposed centre and what it will mean to the community in terms of jobs, training and the type of centre that will be built.”

Mr Snowdon said he had continuing concerns with the manner in which the community of Christmas Island has been treated by the Federal Government in its negotiations regarding detention and processing of illegal entrants.

“It appears the Minister’s visit has been short on detail and the Islanders remain in the dark about what their involvement will be in the centre.”

At a public meeting on the Island attended by the Minister there was no detailed documentation given to the Islanders and when questioned on detail of the proposed centre the Minister had none. When asked about consultation the Minister said this was consulting.

“This announcement has come as a surprise to the community. While not opposed to the building of a facility, islanders want input to maximise benefits for the struggling Christmas Island community.

“It is premature for the Minister to claim he has support for his proposed detention centre from the Islanders. Islanders want input into the type of centre to be built. They want assurance the illegal entrants will not endure what has occurred at Woomera.

“The establishment of the detention centre has the potential to alter the community economy, culture and lifestyle. Given the limited amount of information provided to the community you wonder why Minister Tuckey flew to the Island. This is yet another example of the Government not understanding the concept of community consultation on Christmas Island.”

Ends- Contact Warren Snowdon 0419 626 601