Christmas Island detention centre almost full
Posted Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:47pm AEDT
Updated Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:45pm AEDT
The immigration detention centre on Christmas Island is nearly at capacity with the arrival of another boat last night.
The navy intercepted a boat carrying 53 people not far from the island.
The Federal Government says that takes the total number of people in detention on Christmas Island to 1,384.
The centre can hold 1,400 people, although its capacity is being expanded.
The Opposition's Immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, says that is not the answer.
“Buying more bunk beds is not a way to deal with the people smugglers problem,” he said.
“We need to protect the integrity and fairness of our immigration program and we need to observe the opportunity for all asylum seekers who might want to come here to have their fair chance.”
The Federal Government says it may accommodate some asylum seekers in tents if the Christmas Island detention centre reaches capacity.
The Immigration Department says the centre is being expanded using demountables from the Northern Territory.
It says in the meantime, further arrivals could be housed in tents.
RELATED STORIES :
Map: Christmas Island 6798
Related Story: UN envoy wants detention centre closed
Related Story: Christmas Is buckling under population boom
Related Story: Brawling detainees threatened with deportation
Related Story: Another asylum boat intercepted
Related Story: Send asylum seekers home, says Joyce