Detention centre “little better than camp sites”

Refuge advocates have attacked a new detention centre for asylum seekers, saying the conditions are little better than a camp sites, such as those used to house workers in the mining industry.

Those living at Northam detention centre will be living in refurbished second-hand dongas, sourced from mining sites.

The detention centre will initially have no mains power or water and sewage will be pumped onto Perth-bound trucks for disposal.

The Department of Immigration has defended its proposal, saying it is common practise, and has outlined its plan to have 500 asylum seekers in Northam by mid-year.

The detention centre, to be built on part of the old Northam Army Camp is already months behind schedule.

A spokesperson from the department said the Northam facility should have full power and water by early next year.

Last week the Heritage Council brought the work to a halt when it raised concerns about the construction of new buildings on the foundations of the migrant camp site from the 50’s and 60’s and surveyors have found the land unsuitable for building due to large outcrops of bedrock granite.

Image: Hap Working the World, blog

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