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Monday, 31 October 2011
Page: 12260

Asylum Seekers: Education Services

(Question No. 234)

Mr Briggs asked the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, in writing, on 3 March 2011:

In respect of the additional capital works, acquisitions, employment and contractual services at schools providing education to children in the Inverbrackie detention centre: what total sum of money (a) has been, and (b) will be, provided to the SA Government to cover associated costs, and what is the itemised breakdown of these costs.

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

Minors at the Inverbrackie Alternative Place of Detention (APOD) attend a variety of public schools and preschools in the Adelaide Hills area.

The costs incurred by those schools in delivering services to detainee minors (including but not limited to salaries of additional teachers, senior teachers and teachers' aides, teachers' equipment, school fees, school uniform costs, school excursion costs and other related education costs for detainee minors), will be paid to the Government of South Australia on a cost recovery basis.

The fees will be set out in a formal agreement which is currently being negotiated between the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of South Australia.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship exchanged letters with the South Australian Department of the Premier and Cabinet on 17 December 2010, in which the parties agreed to work together in good faith to establish the formal agreement and that, in the meantime, South Australia would provide education (and other) services to people housed at the Inverbrackie APOD.

In accordance with the exchange of letters, approximately $860,000 has been paid to date to the Government of South Australia for education services provided to minors located in the Inverbrackie APOD.

It is not possible to predict the total sum of future costs that will be provided to the Government of South Australia as:

the formal agreement is still being negotiated;

the number of children residing in APODs continues to decrease as more children are moved into community detention arrangements; and

the particular fees payable are determined on a cost recovery basis (depending on the number of children that attend the public schools).