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Labor proposes large detention centres in two capitals.

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Labor Proposes Large Detention Centres in Two Capitals MPS 105/2001

Residents should be given details immediately on Labor's plans to build large detention centres to hold unlawful boat arrivals in Sydney and Melbourne the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock said today.

Labor is proposing to put all women and children, and Iraqi and Afghani asylum seekers in urban detention centres such as Villawood in Sydney and Maribyrnong in Melbourne.

"Given the large number of Iraqi and Afghani boat arrivals in the past two years, when does Mr Sciacca intend informing local residents he plans to build a large detention centre in their neighbourhood," Mr Ruddock asked.

"The Villawood facility can house about 700 people and the Maribyrnong facility has a capacity of just over 80 people, but in 1999-2000, more than three and a half thousand people claiming to be from Afghanistan and Iraq arrived in Australia unlawfully.

"This is a massive redevelopment of those facilities being proposed by Labor and I am unaware of any consultation with the local communities concerned.

"Mr Sciacca should also outline where the money is coming from to build or expand these two centres.

"I suspect the people of Woomera will also be concerned to hear of Opposition plans to house all high-risk detainees in the detention facility located on the outskirts of their town.

"Mr Sciacca and the Queensland Government don't want a detention centre for visa overstayers and unlawful workers near Brisbane, but they are quite happy for them to be

located in other states," Mr Ruddock said.

30 July 2001 Media Contact: Steve Ingram (02) 6277 7860

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