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Long-term strategy for immigration detention facilities.

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Long-Term Strategy for Immigration Detention Facilities MPS 26/2002

The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Philip Ruddock, today announced the outcome of a Government review of mainland immigration detention facilities.

The Minister said a range of factors had influenced the review including declining numbers of unauthorised boat arrivals, aging infrastructure and the changing profile of those remaining in detention.

"With no unauthorised boat arrivals on the mainland for many months, the profile of people in detention has changed markedly, with an increasing number of non-compliant detainees available for removal," Mr Ruddock said.

"We need to reduce our reliance on older, less suitable facilities and focus on purpose-designed and built facilities which will also enable us to better cater for those remaining in detention."

The Minister announced the following in respect of unauthorised boat arrivals:

The Baxter Immigration Reception and Processing Centre, under construction near Port Augusta in South Australia, is expected to be ready for commissioning in the middle of the year.

the slowing pace of boat arrivals has allowed Baxter to be more thoughtfully designed providing higher levels of amenity and security. The use of smaller compounds will allow the more effective distribution and management of detainees in a more friendly environment.



The closure of the facility at the Curtin RAAF base. The facility would remain available as a contingency centre. ●

The Woomera facility would continue to accommodate detainees but its operation would be scaled down. Some areas of the Woomera centre would be maintained for contingency purposes. ●

A preferred site for a purpose-built immigration reception and processing centre in Darwin at the 11 Mile Antennae Farm. This Department of Defence facility is due to be decommissioned in 2003 and the ongoing need for an immigration detention facility in Darwin will be revisited at that time.


Long-Term Strategy for Immigration Detention Facilities - Immigration Media Release 26/2002 (1 of 2) [12/04/2002 1:30:30]

The establishment of Australia's first permanent purpose designed and built immigration reception and processing facility on Christmas Island. (previously announced) ●

"I will continue to monitor our detention requirements, ensuring that we can manage the population in detention appropriately and that additional capacity will be available should the need arise," Mr Ruddock said.

11 April 2002

Media Release Index


Long-Term Strategy for Immigration Detention Facilities - Immigration Media Release 26/2002 (2 of 2) [12/04/2002 1:30:30]