Detention Plan Centres ‘May Be Needed’

Detention plan centres 'may be needed'

February 10, 2010

The federal government may have to come up with a contingency plan if immigration detention facilities at Christmas Island and Darwin fill up, Immigration Minister Chris Evans says.

Capacity on Christmas Island is being increased from 1800 to 2300 during the next month “or so”, Senator Evans told ABC Television on Wednesday.

If that fills up, asylum seekers could be housed at the 550-bed Darwin centre, he said.

Asked what would happen if capacity at both the Christmas Island and Darwin facilities was stretched, the minister said: “If the increased activity was to go beyond those levels, we'll have to look at further contingency plans.

“At this stage, I'm not prepared to discuss that.”

No firm government decision had been made, Senator Evans said.

So far in 2010, 11 unauthorised boats have arrived in Australian waters.