Broadmeadows immigration detention centre upgrade criticised:

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2 February 2017

A $29.06 MILLION proposal to accommodate “high risk” detainees at the Broadmeadows immigration detention centre has been met with anger.

Last month, Hume Leader revealed that a parliamentary standing committee was conducting an inquiry into Federal Government plans to expand the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) on Camp Rd.

As part of the redevelopment, 140 new beds would be installed in a high-security compound, along with a behavioural management unit to help manage “problematic individuals”.

A report said this would allow the Broadmeadows centre to hold “medium to high risk” detainees whose visas had been cancelled due to criminal convictions, links to organised crime and outlaw motorcycle gangs, security reasons or behavioural concerns.

Last week, Calwell MP Maria Vamvakinou held a meeting to discuss community concerns about the centre’s proposed upgrade.

The meeting was attended by Broadmeadows MP Frank McGuire, Hume mayor Drew Jessop, other councillors and Broadmeadows Progress Association committee members.

Those present said they were concerned about a lack of Federal Government consultation about the decision to upgrade MITA to a high-risk security facility.

They also said rather than spending money on the detention centre, the Federal Government should invest in other areas of the Broadmeadows community — such as helping to resettle Syrian refugees.

Mr McGuire said another good investment suggestion for the government would be the creation defence force manufacturing site, to boost employment.

“Instead we’re being offered a prison, or really a jail — they’re offering almost $30 million to build a jail,” he said.

“People who would be convicted paedophiles, drug traffickers and members of outlaw motorcycle gangs could be kept there.”

The deadline for public submissions to the parliamentary committee considering the detention centre proposal has been extended to February 10.

Anyone needing assistance to make a submission can contact Ms Vamvakinou’s office on 9367 5216.

CLICK HERE for more details.

Alesha Capone, Hume Leader

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