Added by Nigel Shelbourne on March 4, 2011
Plans to develop a new immigration detention centre on Darwin Harbour raises safety concerns for officers in the Northern Territory, according to the NT Police Association.
Concerns were raised as plans to develop a 1,500-bed detention centre to house single men at Wickham Point, opposite Darwin CBD, were announced on Friday.
Questions arose over the capacity of NT Police to deal with any large-scale disturbance.
The private security company that manages immigration detention facilities throughout Australia, Serco, allegedly have no plans to deal with such disturbance other than to call the police.
The new facility, coupled with a doubling of Darwin Airport Lodge Detention Centre’s bed capacity, will bring the city’s immigration detention capacity to 2,900, exceeding that of Christmas Island’s 2,600.
Kelly said there had been three recent immigration incidents in as many weeks. “I think we’ve been fortunate that the incidents so far have ended relatively peacefully and without injury,” he said.
NT government, who supports the plan, told NT News that it would “ensure there were positive outcomes for Territorians”.