Australia: Detention centre full to bursting
Since Kevin Rudd changed the successful border protection policies of John Howard, the number of
economic spongers refugees has increased drastically. The latest is that the government is now housing the burqa-clad asylum seekers in a 4-star hotel in Queensland. Now, I wonder who is footing the bill for these “poor” people-who-pay-the-people-smugglers-thousands-to-bring-them-to-the-land-of -free-money-and-forever-entitlements?
DARWIN’S immigration detention centre is already over capacity just weeks after it started housing asylum seekers.
The Northern Detention Centre has an operating capacity of 382 people.
But the centre has been forced to go into “surge” capacity – offering a further 164 beds – to cater for the 430 detainees who reside there. Even this surge capacity could be reached if the facility fails to process the detainees as fast as they arrive.
Solomon MHR Damian Hale said there was still enough room in the centre.
“They are processing asylum seeker application as quickly as possible,” he said. “And I understand there are no illegal fishermen there anymore.”
“But unfortunately, as we see more boats, it will put pressure on everyone.”
Mr Hale said the Department of Immigration was processing the people “quickly and fairly”.
“This is not an easy process. It does take time,” he said. “At this stage, it is not at capacity.”
Tonight’s federal budget is expected to include a multi-million boost for immigration facilities – on Christmas Island and onshore facilities.
The budget is also expected to announce the replacement of eight Customs Bay-class patrol boats.
The Federal Government announced last month it would transfer detainees to the mainland after Christmas Island reached capacity.
Mr Hale said he had not been given any prior warning of government spending in his electorate and would “watch closely” for Darwin’s detention centre funding.
“Like everyone else, I will wait and see. But I hope the funding is exactly what we need.”
But Mr Hale did not know if the detention centre needed a funding boost.
“I can only go on what the Department briefs me,” he said
“And at the moment, I am not having anyone knocking on my door.”