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$41.3 Million Funding To Support New Detention Centre

Wilson Tuckey

Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government


14th May 2002

The Federal Government will provide $41.3 million in new capital funding in 2002-03 to support the new immigration reception and processing centre on Christmas Island. The funding is in addition to the cost of constructing the centre.

Federal Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Wilson Tuckey, said construction work on the centre would begin immediately, with the expectation that it would be fully operational within a year.

Capital funding for support facilities will be provided as follows:

  • $19.6 million for service infrastructure works, including reticulated services for power, communications and water supply; and
  • $21.7 million for housing to accommodate staff and other people associated with the facility.

The new funding is in addition to funds already announced to upgrade and expand transport and other community infrastructure on the Island to support the inevitable increase in population that will result from the project, including:

  • $7.3 million for additional port capacity to ensure access to supplies and freight in all weather conditions;
  • $10 million to upgrade the Linkwater Road to cater for increased traffic from an additional port; and
  • $8 million for dedicated community sporting facilities for the local community.

Overall, this will result in $66.6 million of infrastructure funding which will support the construction of the immigration reception and processing centre.

"This centre will be the first purpose-designed and built detention facility in Australia," Mr Tuckey said.

"It is a major new work with the potential to provide a huge boost to the Christmas Island economy, not only through the range of services that will be needed to support such a facility but also through the flow on effects to other industry sectors.

"The local tourism industry in particular should receive a significant boost from the improved local infrastructure, and the additional air services that are likely to result from increased air traffic to and from the Island.

"This project has 'new jobs' written all over it," he said.

Media contact: Graeme Hallett 0419 688 4400