Christmas Island capacity to increase
February 08, 2010 5:15PM
THE capacity of the Christmas Island immigration detention centre is to be increased within weeks, says Immigration Minister Chris Evans.
So far in 2010, 11 unauthorised boats have arrived in Australian waters.
Senator Evans said the island had a capacity to hold 1800 detainees but the government was hoping to increase that to between 2220 and 2300 “within a couple of weeks”.
“We're obviously feeling a bit of pressure there,” the Minister told Sky News today.
“We've got larger numbers on the island but we've also been increasing the capacity.”
Tents installed on the Indian Ocean island had wooden floors.
Extra donga-type accommodation was also on the way, the Minister added.
Asked what would happen if the number of asylum seekers arriving on boats outstripped the capacity of the Christmas Island detention centre, Senator Evans said 500 beds from a Darwin detention centre could be sent over.
“That's the current plan. Obviously, there's a limit to what you can do on Christmas Island,” he said.
Related Coverage :
Asylum seekers intercepted off coast Adelaide Now, 1 day ago
Bring asylum seekers to mainland – Greens Adelaide Now, 6 days ago
Opposition may raise off-shore detention Adelaide Now, 6 days ago
Rudd firm on Christmas option The Australian, 2 Feb 2010
'Christmas Island like a motel' Perth Now, 29 Jan 2010