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Government fails to deliver on Christmas Island detention centre.



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Gavan O'Connor MP MEMBER FOR CORIO

SHADOW MINISTER FOR REGIONAL SERVICES, TERRITORIES, LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND TOURISM

MEDIA RELEASE

11 December 2002

GOVERNMENT FAILS TO DELIVER ON CHRISTMAS ISLAND DETENTION CENTRE

The site of the proposed permanent immigration reception and processing centre on Christmas Island remains a patch of bare rock phosphate just six weeks before its scheduled opening.

In this year’s Transport and Regional Services Portfolio Budget Statement, the Howard Government said:

“The construction of this facility has been fast tracked, in order for it to be completed by the end of January 2003.”

If this is a priority construction then the Howard Government has failed hopelessly to meet its target.

It is no wonder the Government has had to announce an extension of the discredited and costly ‘Pacific Solution’.

The Howard Government used ‘urgency’ as an excuse for dodging normal environmental assessment, community consultation and planning processes on this project.

Yet Labor understands that much of the planning for this ‘fast tracked’ facility is yet to be completed. It has not even solved the problem of what to do with the sewage generated on the site.

If the Government no longer sees this project as urgent then it ought to subject its plans to the normal environmental, planning and community consultation processes.

Again, for all his talk, John Howard has failed to deliver on a project that has been central to his border protection plans.

Contact Bernie Eades on 0418 523 820

TELEPHONE: (02) 6277 4147 ã FACSIMILE: (02) 6277 8592 TELEPHONE: (03) 5221 3033 ã FACSIMILE: (03) 5222 4505 EMAIL: Gavan.OConnor.MP@aph.gov.au