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New residential housing for Port Hedland detainees.



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M e d i a R e l e a s e The Hon Philip Ruddock MP Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Telephone: (02) 6277 7860 and Indigenous Affairs Facsimile: (02) 6273 4144 Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation MPS 067/2003 NEW RESIDENTIAL HOUSING FOR PORT HEDLAND DETAINEES A new residential housing project (RHP) becomes operational today in Port Hedland the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Philip Ruddock, said today. A family comprising a mother and her two children today moves into the accommodation. “The new facility is a further demonstration of the Government’s commitment to provide alternative detention arrangements for women and children,” Mr Ruddock said. “It follows the recent announcement of the Port Augusta project and the success of the Woomera RHP. “The housing project will enable up to 12 eligible detainees, depending on family composition, to live in a more domestic environment, enjoying a greater degree of autonomy, while remaining in detention.” The new RHP at Port Hedland comprises five airconditioned, motel-style ensuite rooms, with central kitchen and dining facilities. Outside, there are grassed areas for recreation and easy care gardens. The RHP is located approximately 700 metres from the Port Hedland Immigration Reception and Processing Centre and its development follows consultation with the local community. Work on the RHP in Port Augusta near the Baxter facility began on 10 September. It is expected to be ready for occupation in early November. “I am also considering the establishment of a RHP located in Sydney. A facility would be near the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, allowing families in the RHP and their partners in the Detention Centre to come together regularly,” Mr Ruddock said. “The highly successful Residential Housing Project at Woomera serves as an excellent model for the establishment of similar arrangements in other communities. “I remain committed to exploring options for alternative arrangements for women and children in immigration detention,” Mr Ruddock said. 18 September 2003 MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Ingram 0419 278 715 Portfolio information is also available on the Internet: www.minister.immi.gov.au