PONTVILLE DETENTION CENTRE DECOMMISSIONED
Posted March 06, 2012
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, today announced the decommissioning of the Pontville Immigration Detention Centre (IDC), following the transfer of the final group of detainees this morning.
The great majority of men who have been detained at Pontville IDC have since moved into the community either on permanent protection visas, in community detention or under bridging visa arrangements, having cleared health, identity and security requirements.
A number of other asylum seekers have been transferred to mainland facilities, including to the recently opened second stage compound of Wickham Point IDC, which provides 500 additional beds and takes the centre’s capacity to 1,000 single adult males.
Mr Bowen said Pontville was always intended to be a temporary facility until additional accommodation at centres such as Wickham Point came online.
“I thank the Tasmanian community for the positive feedback the Government has received about Pontville IDC and the benefits it has provided to the local community,” Mr Bowen said.
“However, the need for such temporary detention accommodation has been reduced with new detention accommodation now available.”
Works around the decommissioning of the Pontville facility continue, with some elements of the centre such as the perimeter fence to be retained for use by the Department of Defence.
Mr Bowen said the people of Tasmania had provided valuable support to Pontville IDC throughout its six months of operation.
“I would hope other communities around Australia follow Tasmania’s lead in demonstrating how positive community support and interaction can have direct benefits for both people in detention and the local community,” he said.
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