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Closure for many immigration detention centres in Australia

January 2014, 15
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immigration detention centres

The current government in Australia have made an announcement stating their desire to close four immigration detention centres. The closures are expected to reduce government spendings by approximately $88.8 million each year. The four detention centres which are due to close are, South Australian - Port Augusta, Western Australia - Leonora facility, Queensland – Scherger facility and Tasmania – Pontville facility. The detention centres are all to be closed before the end of February 2014, other than Tasmania's Pontville facility which is due to see official closure, as it has be unoccupied for a lengthy duration. Refugees who are still being detained in the three centres which are due to close are going to be moved over the next few weeks into a detention centre  with available spaces.

Closure of the four detention facilities is predicted to have financial savings of around $7.4 million each month. The remote locations are quite expensive to maintain and are small in comparison to the centres which are to be kept open. Although the closure will mean staff and service providers are going to be left out of work, the Australian taxpayer and Australian government will benefit long term from the savings. With the onshore centres being diminished, future use, as well as present usage will face further assessments.

Detention centres for immigrants, located in the onshore network, have been produced for the flexible use of accommodation for immigrants, many of which are being detained for the same or very similar reasons. When changes are brought in, which will alter the requirements of facilities requirements, the use of the facilities themselves will also change. None of the asylum seekers who travelled by boat had been processed inside Australia, they were assessed elsewhere.

The current arrangements regarding the maintaining of the facilities, is causing a large financial strain which is reflected in the detention centres. Closing down four costly facilities within Australia could have a negative impact, as the detainees due to be moved will be going into unfamiliar surroundings, some of which may have high levels of tensions, they could also face different levels of services and security compared to what they are currently experiencing. It is feared that there could be a rise in self harming asylum seekers who are not getting the correct support to assist them with the traumas they experienced, the reason which they tried to seek refuge in Australia.

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