Government warned on detention crowding
January 14, 2010
The federal government must begin processing asylum-seekers in Australia or risk disturbances and riots at the Christmas Island detention centre, the immigration department has warned.
News Limited newspapers said the department has warned the government that conditions on Christmas Island are close to boiling point, with the detention centre at 95 per cent of capacity and the chance of violence after a melee last year involving Tamil and Afghan detainees.
It is understood Immigration Minister Chris Evans received the departmental warning about the deteriorating situation on Christmas Island in the past month, News Limited reported.
The department suggested the government open a spill-over detention centre in Darwin.
A fifth unauthorised boat to enter Australian waters this year was intercepted on Wednesday.