Chapter 1 Introduction
The main objective of the Committee’s visit to Christmas Island was to inspect
public works on the island that have been approved in the recent past or are to
be referred to the Committee in the near future, and to receive updates and
briefings about particular projects with a view to reporting back to
The Committee has noted the increase in population on Christmas Island,
particularly irregular maritime arrivals and the Commonwealth agency staff
dealing with those arrivals, and sought reassurance that public infrastructure development
and investment is keeping pace with need.
The Committee visited Christmas Island from 7-10 June 2011. The
Committee spent a full day with officials from the Department of Regional
Australia, Regional Development and Local Government (DRARDLG), and inspected
various sites for the Christmas Island New Housing Program, the wastewater
treatment plant, the power station and the Australian Federal Police
headquarters. The Committee was informed about key planning and design
initiatives under consideration.
The Committee also had a full day with the Department of Immigration and
Citizenship, and inspected the facilities at three immigration detention
Chapter 2 of this report examines particular issues that the Committee
felt need to be addressed, with some issues requiring immediate attention.
Appendix A provides an overview of the Committee’s briefing and inspections
The Committee gratefully acknowledges the following people for their
efforts and contributions in making the Committee’s trip to Christmas Island a
n Mr Brian Lacey,
Christmas Island Administrator;
n Mr Gordon Thompson,
President, Christmas Island Shire Council;
n Mr Kelvin Matthews,
Chief Executive Officer, Christmas Island Shire Council;
n Ms Belinda Moss,
Assistant Secretary, Territories West, Department of Regional Australia,
Regional Development and Local Government;
n Mr Liviu
Mihov-Nicotodis, Director Capital and Procurement Policy Section, Territories
West, Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local
n Mr John Carter,
Manager Indian Ocean Territories (Power Authority), Department of Regional
Australia, Regional Development and Local Government;
n Ms Megan Lalley,
Project Manager – Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade), Water Corporation.
n Mr Cameron Owen,
Project Manager – New Housing Program, GHD Pty Ltd.
n Mr Steve Ingram,
Assistant Secretary, Detention Infrastructure Branch, Department of Immigration
n Mr Scott Matheson,
Regional Manager, Irregular Maritime Arrivals Operations, Department of
Immigration and Citizenship (Christmas Island);
n Mr Chris Linton,
Detention Operations, Department of Immigration and Citizenship (Christmas
n Mr Alfred Chong,
Resident Manager, Phosphate Resources Limited.
The Committee wishes to thank the staff at each facility visited, and in
particular, wishes to thank staff and clients at North-west Point, Construction
Camp and Phosphate Hill detention centres who spoke with Committee members.